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Restaurant owner to pay state $47K
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A local restaurant owner has avoided jail time, but will be required to pay back tens of thousands of dollars to the government for failing to pay sales tax on his establishment’s earnings.The restaurant owner, Manual Ochoa, 41, was granted a one-year judicial diversion by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley on the charge of sales tax evasion and was ordered to pay the state $47,000 in back sales taxes.The judicial diversion means Ochoa can have his criminal record erased provided he gets into no further trouble and abides by his agreement over the next year. Failure to abide by the terms would be equivalent to violating his probation and could result in jail time. The six counts of theft were dismissed as part of his plea deal.Ochoa is the owner of La Cazona Mexican Restaurant at Northgate Center.The indictments rendered against the businessman claim Ochoa willfully withheld payment to the state of Tennessee for sales tax proceeds from his business from December 2005 to February 2009.