Sauk Centre Couple Charged with Tax Crimes 09 May 14

The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Kandiyohi County Attorney’s Office recently charged 43-year-old Juan Mejia and 42-year-old Martha Mejia, both of Sauk Centre, with sales and income tax-related felonies.

Juan and Martha are each charged with seven counts of filing fraudulent returns, eight counts of failing to pay taxes and one charge of failing to file a return for tax years 2008 through 2011.

According to the criminal complaint, the Mejia’s run La Michoacana, a grocery store, restaurant and money transfer business with locations in Willmar and Long Prairie. A review of the couple’s tax history shows they reported and paid little to no income tax, while their business has generated more than $1 million per year. The business has been open for more than 12 years.

The complaint states that the couple owes an estimated $238,000 in income tax and $52,000 in sales tax. Between 2008 and 2011, the Mejia’s failed to report any taxable phone card sales, which totaled $537,000. They also underreported their income for the same years by $3.3 million. The complaint also states that records for the business show income as high as $2.5 million in 2006. Between 2006 and 2011, however, they reported little to no taxable income for those years.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.