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Mexican restaurant owners convicted, sentenced

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Three owners of several local Mexican restaurants were convicted and sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to not reporting millions of dollars in sales.

Three Mexican restaurant owners presented themselves in a Marion County courtroom Monday after an extensive investigation into their restaurants’ sales figures.

At the time of their arrest, investigators reported that the three owners underreported as much as $22.7 million in sales in a three year period.

Francisco Salgado and Jose Melendez, who pleaded guilty to 10 counts of theft, Class D felonies, were sentenced to 10 years – two years on home detention and the other eight suspended. Abel Bustos, who pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, was sentenced to two years – one year on home detention and the second year suspended.

All three of the men were ordered to serve a year of probation and to pay restitution, according to their plea agreement.

Salgado, Melendez and Bustos have agreed to forfeit a previously seized amount of $4.53 million to state and local authorities, and another $1.86 million will be paid by them to the Indiana Department of Revenue for unpaid sales tax and food and beverage tax.