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View Full Version : Federal agents raided 15 Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler restaurants


Jeanfromfillmore
04-20-2011, 11:25 PM
There' are at least four of these in Ventura County that I know of. Chuy's in Moorpark, Simi Valley, Ventura and Camarillo



Feds serve 20 warrants on restaurant owners

CAMARILLO, Calif. (KABC) -- A federal indictment has been issued against two independent owners of Chuy's Mesquite Broiler restaurants. They're accused of hiring illegal immigrants.
Federal agents raided 15 of the restaurants Wednesday in Arizona and California, including one in Camarillo. The restaurants that were raided are independently owned and operated. Eight other restaurant locations owned by franchises were not affected.
Agents say they detained about 40 suspected illegal immigrants.
Mark and Chris Evenson, father and son and independent owners of Chuy's stores in California and Arizona, were arrested on allegations of tax fraud and illegal hiring practices.
Eric W. Rose, spokesperson for CMB LLC, which owns the franchising rights to the name of Chuy's Mesquite Broiler Restaurants, issued the following statement: upon
"We understand from news reports that federal agents have arrested Mark Evenson and his son Chris Evenson on allegations of tax fraud and illegal hiring practices at the restaurants they run independently own and run in California and Arizona. Chuy's Mesquite Broiler Restaurants are owned by a number of individuals, not just Mark and Chris Evenson. While we are deeply disturbed by the alleged actions, they do not represent the values and ideals of the Chuy's Mesquite Broiler Restaurants, the other independent owners or our employees. Mark and Chris Evenson have no ownership of the Chuy's Mesquite Broiler Restaurants in Simi Valley West, Stevenson Ranch/Newhall, the Bakersfield CA, Kolb store in Tucson Arizona or Murrieta, CA location."
Owners of Chuy's restaurants in Calif., Ariz. indicted
PHOENIX (AP) — Federal agents arrested the owners of a restaurant chain with outlets in Arizona and California on Wednesday on an indictment charging them with hiring illegal immigrants and evading taxes.

Agents raided 15 Chuy's Mesquite Broiler restaurants in both states and served 20 search warrants. They detained about 40 suspected illegal immigrants who were working at the restaurants when the raids took place, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Vincent Picard said.

The father and son owners of the chain of about 20 restaurants and a company accountant were arrested on a 19-count indictment.

Mark Evenson, 58, of the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, and his son, Christopher Evenson, 39, of Oro Valley, Ariz., were being held pending an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Tucson set for Thursday.

The Evensons and accountant Diane Strehlow, 47, of Tempe, Ariz., are accused of hiring illegal immigrants for the company's kitchen operations and paying them under the table. They did not collect state or federal income taxes for those employees, according to the indictment.

Meanwhile, staff who worked with the public were legal workers and taxes were taken out of their checks.

An attorney who has previously represented the Evensons in a civil case said he could not comment on the new indictment. Court records don't yet reflect an attorney in the criminal case. A message left at a telephone listing for Strehlow wasn't immediately returned.

According to the indictment, Mark Evenson personally directed employees not to provide personal information for illegal immigrants to the government because the workers would be arrested. After receiving a complaint about illegal immigrants working at the company's Lake Havasu City restaurant, he allegedly told an employee that adding "some American people" to the staff may stop the complaints.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke said the three knowingly dodged thousands in taxes for nearly two years in order to maintain an illegal work force.

"That deceitful practice, which hurts all law-abiding taxpayers and employers, must stop," Burke said. "There should be no place in our economy for employers who cynically exploit and defy the U.S. tax code to take advantage of illegal labor."

ICE Director John Morton said Wednesday's raids were sparked by a tip more than a year ago that company officials were employing illegal workers.

What investigators found, Morton said, was evidence of not only a pattern of unlawful hiring but also "dedicated effort to defraud the American people."

He said company officials maintained two set of business accounting records and "cooked the books" to hide their activities.

"Obviously there are two principal things going on in this case," Morton said. "One is you are hiring people illegally ... at the same time you are trying to profit criminal by not paying Medicare and Social Security taxes you would otherwise have to pay according to federal law. They were cooking the books, hiring people that they shouldn't have been hiring and defrauding the federal government."

Morton said this case is an example of the Obama administration's ongoing effort to root out companies that knowingly hire illegal workers while "creating a culture of compliance."

Besides ICE agents, U.S. Department of Labor, Homeland Security Investigations and Internal Revenue Service agents participated in the raids.
http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/120324834.html

Chuy's restaurant owners suspected of illegal hiring, tax evasion
A Tempe woman and the owners many restaurants in a popular chain with outlets in Arizona and California have been indicted on suspicion of hiring illegal immigrants and tax evasion.
Federal agents raided 15 Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler restaurants on Wednesday in both states and served 20 search warrants.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Vincent Picard says they detained about 40 suspected illegal immigrants who were working at the restaurants. Chuy’s has six restaurants throughout the Valley including two in Tempe, one in Mesa and one in Chandler.
Mark Evenson of Paradise Valley and his son, Christopher Evenson, 39, of Oro Valley near Tucson, co-own 20 restaurants. They and Diane Strehlow, 47, of Tempe, a company accountant, were arrested on a 19-count indictment that includes charges of unlawful hiring and harboring of illegal aliens, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and tax evasion.
The three are accused of hiring illegal immigrants for the company’s kitchen operations and paying them under the table. When Mark Evenson received a complaint about illegal immigrants working at one of his restaurants in Lake Havasu City, he allegedly told an employee that “throwing some American people in there” might stop the complaints, according to information from ICE.
The indictment states that sometime before January 2008, the Evensons and Strehlow began filing fraudulent tax forms with the IRS and did so every three months until January 2010.
In what Picard described as a “complex criminal investigation into a conspiracy,” the restaurant underreported and failed to pay at least $400,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes throughout the course of the crimes, according to ICE.
The Evensons and Strehlow are scheduled to make initial appearances Friday in U.S. District Court in Tucson, according to information from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the case.
If convicted of all charges, Mark Evenson faces up to 86 years in prison and a $5.33 million fine and Christopher Evenson faces up to 81 years in prison and a $5.08 million fine.
Strehlow faces a maximum prison term of 40 years and a $2 million fine.
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/immigration/article_4c2a1d90-6b8e-11e0-9966-001cc4c03286.html
ICE: Restaurant Owners Hired Illegal Workers 'Under The Table'
PHOENIX -- The father and son owners of Chuy's Mesquite Broiler are accused of hiring illegal workers, paying them under the table and not paying $400,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes.
• Video: Restaurant Raided By ICE
"For nearly two years, these defendants are alleged to have knowingly dodged hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes in order to maintain an illegal workforce," said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke.
According to a joint statement released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service, Mark Evenson and his son, Christopher Evenson, hired illegal immigrants to work in their kitchens, while legal workers were hired as servers.
Investigators said the Evensons would pay the illegal workers under the table, without paying taxes or Social Security.
Legal workers were paid using normal payroll practices, with taxes and Social Security paid.
Vincent Picard, with ICE public affairs, said Mark is accused of personally directing employees not to run personal information on illegal immigrants through the government's database because the government would "kick it back" or would "come and pick them up."
When Mark received a complaint about illegal immigrants working at a restaurant in Lake Havasu City, he told an employee that "throwing some American people in there" might stop the complaints, Picard said.
Diane Strehlow, an accountant who worked for the Evensons, was also arrested.
The arrests came on Wednesday after ICE, IRS and Department of Labor agents executed 20 search warrants related to the case, including 15 at Chuy's restaurants in Arizona and California.
The Evensons and Strehlow are charged with a variety of criminal violations, including the unlawful hiring and harboring of illegal aliens, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and tax evasion.
If convicted of all the charges, Mark faces up to 86 years in prison and a $5.33 million fine; Christopher faces up to 81 years in prison and a $5.08 million fine; and Strehlow faces a maximum prison term of 40 years and a $2 million fine.
"Employers who knowingly hire an illegal workforce encourage illegal immigration, take jobs away from legal workers and gain an unfair advantage over their competitors," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Arizona. "This case should be a reminder about the consequences facing employers who exploit illegal alien labor and violate our nation's laws. No employer, regardless of size, industry or location is above the law." http://www.kpho.com/news/27613590/detail.html

Video
http://www.kpho.com/local-video/index.html?grabnetworks_video_id=4655365

ilbegone
04-21-2011, 06:39 AM
The Evensons and Strehlow are charged with a variety of criminal violations, including the unlawful hiring and harboring of illegal aliens, conspiracy to defraud the IRS and tax evasion.
If convicted of all the charges, Mark faces up to 86 years in prison and a $5.33 million fine; Christopher faces up to 81 years in prison and a $5.08 million fine; and Strehlow faces a maximum prison term of 40 years and a $2 million fine.

This is exactly what needs to be done. Illegals wouldn't be here unless there was a draw courtesy of American employers.

However, I have the idea that tax evasion in this case far outweighs illegal employment in the minds of ICE, IRS, and the Labor Department. and was the driving concern for filing of charges.

In fact, I'm surprised that the Labor Department was involved at all, considering Labor Secretary Hilda Solis' hands off agreement with Napolitano. Must have been the IRS that pushed the raids.

Ayatollahgondola
04-21-2011, 06:53 AM
In fact, I'm surprised that the Labor Department was involved at all, considering Labor Secretary Hilda Solis' hands off agreement with Napolitano. Must have been the IRS that pushed the raids.

Solis's department participates in the raids so they can take all the info from the illegals to see how many can be issued temporary, victim, or permanent visas. The raids serve them as PR for amnesty and obama. Less are deported that way, and many are legalized

Jeanfromfillmore
08-05-2011, 02:05 PM
Here's the company that made millions using illegals and was caught. But who's doing those jobs today?


Chuy’s Holdings files for stock offering
By Kirk Ladendorf | Friday, August 5, 2011, 01:48 PM
Chuy’s Holdings Inc. of Austin has filed a prospectus with securities regulators for an initial public stock offering that would raise up to $75 million.
The popular restaurant chain operates 31 Tex-Mex restaurants in six states. The company was bought by Goode Partners, a New York-based private equity firm in 2006.
It was founded as a single Chuy’s restaurant on Barton Springs Road in 1982.
http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/theticker/entries/2011/08/05/chuys_holdings_files_for_stock.html