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Former owner of Don Tequila restaurant sentenced to 1 year in prison

The former owner of Don Tequila restaurant was sentenced Thursday in federal court to a year in prison, following his conviction on tax evasion and unlawfully employing illegal aliens to work at multiple restaurants he owned and operated, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Sergio R. Mucino, 48, of Buffalo, who owned multiple Mexican restaurants in the Buffalo area, owed substantial federal income tax as a result of income generated at the restaurants through his employment of people who had entered the country illegally.

Prosecutors said Mucino concealed cash payments, failed to collect payroll taxes, paid employees with cash and placed assets in the names of others, in order to evade paying income taxes totaling more than $1 million for the tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015.

According to prosecutors, Mucino is forfeiting nearly $40,000 in cash that was seized from his restaurants, a 2009 Porsche Boxster purchased with his illegal profits and another $1 million representing additional profits made from the restaurants. Mucino forfeited two houses — which housed some of the workers — as well as another $35,000 in cash by managers of Mucino’s restaurants.

Two co-defendants in the case, Jose Sanchez-Ocampo and Marguin Sanchez, were previously convicted.

Former owner of Mexican restaurant Don Tequila pleads guilty to tax fraud

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