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Restaurant owner couple cops plea in federal court

Original post made on Sep 12, 2011

A couple who once ran restaurants in San Ramon and Danville has pleaded guilty to immigration, social security and tax evasion at their Bay Area restaurant chain, El Balazo, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced. Marino Sandoval, 58, and his wife, Nicole Sandoval, 50, were arrested last November on charges that they hired illegal aliens, misused employees' social security numbers and engaged in tax fraud between 2003 and 2005.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 9, 2011, 4:25 PM

Comments (10)

Posted by J and K, lol
a resident of Danville
on Sep 12, 2011 at 6:44 am

Aliens! Someone call the Men In Blaaaack!

Posted by m
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Sep 12, 2011 at 8:20 am

You can kill people and get away with it, but don't cheat the federal government...they'll put you away.

Posted by OpenMindedGuy
a resident of Danville
on Sep 12, 2011 at 8:26 am

So much for helping small business and creating jobs in America- it's not like they were engaged in drug trafficking or child prostitution: all they were doing was literally, feeding our habit for good & inexpensive Mexican food. Tax fraud aside, this is a waste of time & money.
I dare any "real American" to take those jobs and excel at it- not happening in our society...

Posted by the facts guy
a resident of Danville
on Sep 12, 2011 at 9:10 am

openminded needs to change his handle to headinthesandguy! please educate yourself on the case...they cheated and screwed their employees to line their own pockets.

you must not get out much, because I know lots of "real Americans" that would do that work.

Posted by Open minded but realistic
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 12, 2011 at 9:20 am

Open Minded Guy- Love to hear someone in our town is open-minded, but isn't "creating jobs" supposed to both give people work while creating necessary revenue for taxes to pay for our police, schools, etc.? I agree that US citizens probably wouldn't work as hard for the pay they would receive at restaurants like El Balazo, so it's hard to blame the restauranteurs for wanting good, cheap labor. We need to be willing to pay more for our food so restaurants can pay a decent wage & not feel they have to hire illegals to keep prices down. Don't forget that their kids are enrolled in our underfunded schools and their parents aren't paying into it. In an ideal world there would be more workers' visas, the workers could pay their share into our economy and their kids could rightfully attend our great schools. I truly can't blame them for wanting a better life for themselves and their kids, but not paying income tax just hurts our economy. JMO

Posted by Paul Griffin
a resident of Danville
on Sep 12, 2011 at 10:19 am

This couple knew the game they were playing had high stakes and unfortunately they lost especially since this is the second go-around.

Posted by Danielle Davies
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Sep 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm

My sister subs in Redwood City. Many of those who "want a better life" here---turn their backs on OUR flag during the pledge and cram their hands in pockets. In the elementary schools---open derision. and hate of the USA is commonly spewed by Latino groups both born here or illegals. Wake up.

Posted by Give Me a Break.
a resident of Danville
on Sep 14, 2011 at 7:26 am

These people were tax cheats! They were ripping-off the govt. (us), cheating their employees and creating an unfair advantage for themselves against businesses who were following the rules. On top of that they continued to break the law even after they had been raided by ICE. By the way, El Balazo was never "inexpensive" for a taqueria so quit making excuses for them - they were greedy. And if you get out of California once and a while (which I do) there are plenty of legal workers out there working just as hard to eek out a living doing the same jobs that Americans supposedly won't do.

Posted by saniam
a resident of Danville
on Sep 14, 2011 at 11:28 am

These people lied and stole and now they are paying the penalty for their actions. Why is it a surprise? Or is punishment simply to be reserved for "them" not for "us"? They could have paid their taxes, they could have hired legal employees, they could have paid those employees justly. They chose not to do that. Greed is a sin for a reason.

Posted by Mary
a resident of Danville
on Sep 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm

My grandparents were immigrants who became citizens, paid their taxes and raised their children to work hard and respect the laws of their new country. I have no problem with legal immigration. However, illegal immigrants most often do not pay taxes, do not take our driving tests and often do not spend their money in this country.

The people that owned El Balazo took advantage of this country as well as the people who worked for them. They do not deserve sympathy and should do the time for their crimes!!

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