October 31, 2014

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$3M seized from Acapulco restaurants; bonds on hold
Written by Erika Schmidt Russell   
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 8:31 PM

So far more than 41 people statewide have been arrested out of the 108 charged with warrants issued in connection with the corrupt business influence case involving the Acapulco restaurants in Southeastern Indiana, said Indiana State Excise Police Public Information Officer Travis Thickstun.

He added $3 million in cash has been seized, along with 12 vehicles.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has detainers on several suspects in the case, and Dearborn Circuit Court Magistrate Kim Schmaltz took bond under advisement for all of the suspects at the request of Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard who said they represent a flight risk.

Bond orders may be issued late Wednesday, Sept. 26, and while bond orders were issued by Dearborn-Ohio County Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey, a busy court had not yet processed the orders.

Humphrey also sentenced Logan Township shooter William Gajdik Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 25, see the story below.

At bond hearings Tuesday and Wedensday, Schmaltz set Wednesday, Nov. 14, as an omnibus pre-trial hearing, and the defendants before her Tuesday, Sept. 25, all requested pauper counsel through a translator.

Police will continue to look for the other people with warrants, said Thickstun.

Meanwhile, there were signs and some comments of support for the Acapulco restaurant employees and owners from the community, where the popular restaurants were frequented by many.

The case began through a audit, and in an affidavit of probable cause it was noted Acapulco owners were reporting a 2.15 percent mark up on cost of goods. A 4 to 7 percent mark up is typical for restaurants similar to Acapulco’s, noted the affidavit filed by Indiana Excise Police Investigator Timothy Sutton.

On Monday, Sept. 24, Indiana State Excise Police officers served search warrants at 13 businesses and four residences in eight cities.

Investigators found, by visiting all the Acapulco restaurants, at each restaurant the cash register drawer was open and customers bills were not rung up on the register, but on an adding machine and the tape was attached to the customer’s guest check, according to the affidavit.

Also investigators found the restaurants’ employees, using fraudulent Social Security numbers, also were not filing state tax returns.

By filing false reports with the Department of Revenue, the affidavit asserts the various restaurant owners committed perjury and forgery.
“... This affidavit does not contain all the details currently known to law enforcement concerning this investigation, but includes only sufficient information believed by your affiant to establish probable cause,” according to the affidavit filed by Sutton.

Closed retaurants include:
Acapulco #3 Mexican Restaurant, Lawrenceburg.
Acapulco #8 Mexican Restaurant, Aurora.
Acapulco #5 Restaurant, Rising Sun.
Acapulco #6 Mexican Restaurant, Batesville.
Acapulco #11 Mexican Restaurant, Versailles.
Chris McHenry contributed to this story.



0 #2 2012-10-01 13:29
I liked the food too but using fraudulent SSN's and not filing state tax returns is not excusable and certainly not fair to those of us who pay our taxes. Send them home...they can't abide by our laws, we don't need them.
+2 #1 2012-09-27 13:58
So sad. The Batesville store always had great food with fast, friendly service. The store was being run by people who were well-liked by store patrons, neighbors, and friends. They also helped schools and clubs with fund-raising projects. If they have done anything wrong, I hope they get this cleared up quickly.