The owner of a used car dealership accused of cheating the IRS out of more than a half-million dollars over four years pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg.
Boris Cabellero, age unknown, of Harrisonburg, pleaded guilty to one felony count of falsifying a tax form. He faces up to three years in prison when Judge Michael Urbanski sentences him on Sept. 17.
“l have discussed sentencing issues with my attorney and realize there is a substantial likelihood l will be incarcerated,” according to the plea agreement Cabellero signed Wednesday.
The defendant, who is free from jail on a $10,000 unsecured bond, owns Boris Auto Sales and Repair.
As part of a plea deal, the car dealer also agreed to pay $560,648 in back taxes. Caballero cheated the government out of the money over a four year stretch, from 2007 to 2010, according to court documents.
He also agreed to forfeit $150,000 that the government was seeking through a civil lawsuit filed on June 2.
About a dozen agents, with the assistance of the Harrisonburg Police Department, raided the business at East Washington and Myrtle streets early on the morning of March 20, 2012.
Agents hauled out more than a dozen boxes of evidence from the car lot's office that afternoon.
While the documents in the criminal case don’t outline the details of the criminal activity, the civil lawsuit does.
The lawsuit states Caballero structured payments to avoid the IRS.
"From on or about May 2005 through January 2014, in the Western District of Virginia, Boris R. Caballero had multiple bank accounts, personal and business, at multiple separate financial institutions," an IRS agent wrote in civil complaint. "Caballero deposited his daily cash receipts into these bank accounts."
Federal law requires banks to issue Currency Transaction Reports to the IRS for any transactions made in amounts greater than $10,000.
If customers stagger deposits, or consistently make deposits just shy of the threshold to avoid the reporting, it is called structuring, which is a violation of federal law.
IRS agents say Caballero structured payments at multiple banks to avoid IRS scrutiny for years.
The complaint states that Caballero had two accounts at StellarOne and one at BB&T.
During the investigation, the agent interviewed several tellers.
"Caballero would also have bank tellers at StellarOne count out the cash that he brought into the bank to deposit," the complaint states. "After the bank teller counted each denomination, Caballero would inquire the current total of the deposit. If the amount was over $10,000, Caballero would take some of the cash bank so the deposit would be under $10,000."
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org