Criminal Investigation Division - Protecting Your Taxpayer Dollars
Odessa Man Sentenced to 21 Months in Federal Prison for Wire Fraud Relating to Texas Sales Tax
Jose Luis Suarez, 41, of Odessa, was sentenced on June 26, 2014 to 21 months in federal prison for Wire Fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1343.
Court documents alleged that Suarez, owner of Air One Mobile Welding Supply, filed or caused to be filed Texas sales tax returns that materially and fraudulently underreported the amount of the company's taxable sales, resulting in an underpayment of sales tax estimated to be $264,314. Suarez was alleged to have filed the returns with the Comptroller of Public Accounts using the internet, triggering the Wire Fraud statute.
Suarez entered guilty pleas to six counts of Wire Fraud in March. At his sentencing in June, he was ordered to serve 21 months of confinement, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, on each count, to run concurrently. In addition, Suarez was ordered to forfeit $264,314.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Texas Comptroller. The case, filed as cause number MO13-CR-274, was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas -- Midland-Odessa Division.