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La Cazona owner indicted for tax evasion
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A local businessman has been indicted by the grand jury for tax evasion for failing to pay Tennessee sales tax.
The businessman, Manual Ochoa, 41, owner of La Cazona Mexican Restaurant at Northgate Center, has been indicted on six counts of sales tax evasion, and one count of grand theft.
The indictments, handed down in sealed form last Friday by the Warren County grand jury, charge Ochoa with willfully withholding payment to the state of Tennessee with sales tax proceeds from his business from December 2005 to February 2009.
The amount of sales tax owed to the state has been set at $49,275, making the theft count a felony. The amounts which the state says Ochoa did not report and pay varied widely with $926 not reported in 2005 up to $20,026 not reported in 2008.
Under state law, Ochoa could face up to six years on the felony theft count. However, such a penalty appears unlikely.
A similar situation involving a local businessman who failed to report and pay state sales tax several years ago ended with him avoiding jail time but instead having to pay back the unpaid taxes to the state along with some stiff fines.
Ochoa is free on $5,000 bond pending arraignment before Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley this Wednesday. Ochoa had no comment when reached by phone concerning the indictment.