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Mid-Michigan Couple Charged with Tax Evasion, Totaling $250,000

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel this month charged David Delacruz, 55, and Tamara Delacruz, 50, both of Okemos, with 48 tax-related felonies. Since 2008, the Delacruzs have owned and operated Otra Vez, LLC, which does business as Tacos E Mas, 3500 S. Cedar Street, Suite 101, Lansing. 

The charges include:

  • 31 counts of permitting the filing of a false sales tax return, a felony with a maximum sentence of five years and/or a $5,000 fine;
  • 14 counts of failing to file a sales tax return, a felony with a maximum sentence of five years and/or a $5,000 fine; and
  • Three counts of failing to file an income tax return, a felony with a maximum sentence of five years and/or a $5,000 fine.

“We rely on business owners, regardless of how large or small, to abide by the law and pay their fair share,” Nessel said. “In this case, they not only cheated the system, but their scheme deprived the state School Aid Fund of $175,000.”

Beginning in 2015, the Delecruzs allowed monthly sales tax returns to be filed on behalf of Otra Vez indicating no sales for the month or failed to file the required monthly sales tax return. The returns indicating no monthly sales were false; Otra Vez did, in fact, have sales each month. 

Otra Vez is accused of collecting sales tax on each sale at the restaurant – totaling more than $250,000 in sales tax – but never remitted the amount collected to the Michigan Department of Treasury as required by law. 

Additionally, the couple are accused of consistently failing to file personal income tax returns since 2014. 

Nessel expressed appreciation for the partnership of the Michigan Department of Treasury, which assisted in the investigation of this case.

The Delacruzs were arraigned on Jan. 17, 2019 before the Honorable Julie O’Neill in the 56A District Court in Eaton County. Each received a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. A probable cause conference is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2019 and the preliminary exam is currently scheduled for Jan. 31, 2019.

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PLEASE NOTE: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

Booking photos: