San Antonio couple convicted of restaurant investment fraud | USAO-WDTX

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SAN ANTONIO – A Mexican national and his wife, both residents of San Antonio, were convicted in federal court today of a scheme to defraud business investors of over $1 million and improperly declaring their income to the IRS.

Juan Enrique Kramer, 46, was sentenced to three years in prison, forfeiture of $59,589 in proceeds, restitution of $1,171,497 to victims of his wire fraud and restitution of $727,936 to the IRS. Adriana Pastor, 47, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and is also liable for the $727,936 to the IRS. Both Kramer and Pastor were also sentenced to three years of post-release supervision.

According to court documents, Kramer and other co-conspirators sponsored Mexican nationals with a “turnkey” business venture consisting of a chain of Mexican restaurants in the United States and Mexico known as “Las Quesadillas.” Kramer charged buyers a set fee of between $105,000 and $250,000 and promised to do all the work needed to set up a fully functioning restaurant, including finding and renting a suitable location. obtaining all permits; Assistance in obtaining visas for buyers; completion of construction; Train employees; and handling of all legal fees and incorporation matters.

The defendants accepted funds from buyers but failed to provide the promised services. Instead, they used the money for personal gain or to make partial payments to previous customers who wanted their money back. In addition to partial refunds, Kramer would also offer equity stakes in other companies as an alternative to repayment. If buyers refused, Kramer threatened to sue them for breach of contract. The defendants carried out their plan on at least eight different victims, resulting in a total loss of more than $1 million.

Investment fraud schemes like the one involving Kramer and Pastor are specifically designed to take advantage of vulnerable, trusted individuals,” said US Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “Today’s verdicts underscore that this is unacceptable criminal behavior and violators will be held accountable.”

Kramer and Pastor did not report any of the investor earnings to the IRS. In 2016, Pastor signed a tax return that incorrectly stated a net income loss. In 2017 and 2018, the couple didn’t file any tax returns, although they still ran restaurants and accepted investor money.

On February 1, 2022, Kramer pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and a failure to file an individual tax return. On February 22, 2022, Pastor pleaded guilty to an indictment of aiding or abetting the filing of a false tax return. Two other co-defendants are still facing conviction.

“With Kramer and Pastor came a plan that wreaked havoc and sacrificed citizens in two nations. Our efforts to coordinate with our law enforcement partners at home and abroad help ensure justice is done and criminals pay the price, regardless of international borders,” said Special Counsel Ramsey E. Covington, Houston Field Office of the IRS Criminal Investigation . “These two are scammers who scammed people out of money.”

The IRS-CI and FBI, with support from the Texas State Securities Board, were investigating the case.

Assistant US Attorneys Justin Chung, Matthew W. Kinskey and Antonio Franco Jr. prosecuted the case.

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