Bay Area Restaurant Owners Charged with Hiring Illegal Workers and Tax Violations

Following an extensive investigation led by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Social Security Administration (SSA) Marino and Nicole Sandoval, owners of El Balazo restaurants, were charged in a criminal information filed last month with a variety of tax and immigration violations.

The investigation revealed they were harboring illegal aliens for financial gain, had employed at least 10 unauthorized aliens at their restaurants, reported false Social Security numbers, evaded taxes, and filed inaccurate tax returns. The Sandoval’s were able to hide the fact they underrepresented the restaurants sales on their tax returns and illegally paid their unauthorized workers with payroll checks and cash. Marino Sandoval’s brother, Francisco also pleaded guilty to charges of harboring illegal aliens and failure to pay taxes. The Sandoval’s are set to appear in court on January 31, 2011, but until then they are out on a $100,000 bond.
During the 2010 fiscal year, criminal charges have been filed on 180 owners, employers, managers and/or supervisors following investigations conducted by ICE.