Paradise Asian Foods Owner Sentenced to Jail for Tax Evasion

November 12, 2013, 5:50 PM HST · Updated November 14, 10:50 AM
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Paradise. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Paradise Asian Foods Inc., on East Wakea Avenue in Kahului, Maui. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

A Kahului business owner was sentenced today to a year in jail, and was ordered to pay $317,599 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service after pleading guilty to tax evasion and structuring.

Roger Santos, 54, was accused of diverting approximately $959,883 from the checking account of the business he operated, Paradise Asian Foods, Inc., into multiple personal checking accounts. By reporting only the income deposited into the business account, Santos fraudulently lowered his taxable income by approximately $365,267 for the 2008 tax year, according to court documents detailed by the US Attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi.

According to information produced in court and detailed by the US Attorney’s office, Santos deposited $30,000 in currency into multiple bank accounts on the same day, “in order to evade certain regulations relating to currency transactions.”  The department notes that any currency transaction over $10,000 must be filed by a financial institution with the IRS under federal law.

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In addition to jail and restitution, US District Judge Leslie Kobayashi also sentenced Santos to six months of home confinement, three years of supervised release, and 100 hours of community service.

Santos pleaded guilty to a single tax evasion and a single structuring offense on May 22, 2013, according to the US Department of Justice.

The investigation was conducted by the IRS, and prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Leslie Osborne, Jr.

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