BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The former owner of several popular Western New York restaurants will serve a year in prison for tax evasion and employing workers who were in the country illegally, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors say 48-year-old Sergio Ramses Mucino was convicted of tax evasion and conspiracy to unlawfully employ more than ten aliens during any 12-month period.
Mucino previously owned and operated Don Tequila in Buffalo, El Agave in Cheektowaga and La Divina in Kenmore.
From 2013 to 2015, Mucino paid his illegal employees in cash and concealed cash payments, according to prosecutors. He also failed to collect payroll taxes and placed assets in the names of others to evade payments of income taxes which totaled over $1 million.
Mucino also provided co-defendants Jose Sanchez-Ocampo and Marguin Sanchez money to purchase several houses and apartments where the illegal employees would live, all within close proximity to the restaurants.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports that Mucino is forfeiting nearly $40,000 in seized cash, a 2009 Porsche Boxster and another $1 million in additional profits made from operating the restaurants illegally. Previously, he forfeited two houses, and $35,000 in cash.
Sanchez-Ocampo and Sanchez were previously convicted.