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EL RODEO RESTAURANT OWNERS CHARGED, FINED FOR CHEATING ON TAXES

(Richmond, IN)--The two Richmond El Rodeo restaurants were among 26 in Indiana that were cheating taxpayers by grossly underreporting cash revenue.  Prosecutors held a press conference Thursday.  They said between 40 and 60 percent of restaurant revenue should be cash.  For El Rodeo, it wasn’t even close.  "Looking at the 26 restaurants, 7.25% of the deposits were cash," a Marion County prosecutor said.  The owners have been charged with theft and will have to pay $4.5 million.  "We understand that this practice goes on.  One of the things we hope to demonstrate by this investigation and this resolution is that we're watching," that prosecutor added.  Authorities could have shut down El Rodeo entirely, but that will not happen.  A Tippecanoe County prosecutor Thursday explained exactly how El Rodeo restaurants, including those in Richmond, cheated on its taxes, resulting in the arrest of its owners and millions in fines.  When a customer paid cash, that money never went through the cash register and was never reported.  A police officer in Lafayette caught it.  "He noticed that as he paid, the cash drawer was never opened.  No one ever rang up the sale.  He was returned his cash back out of another drawer," that prosecutor explained.  A plea deal filed Thursday will keep the owners out of prison.

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