Local, state and federal officials served several arrest and search warrants Monday morning at restaurants, homes and businesses throughout southeast Indiana.
Investigators served108 arrests warrants and 19 search warrants at 13 businesses and four residences in eight cities across southeast Indiana.
"We issued warrants for the arrests for corrupt business influence, conspiracy to commit corrupt business influence, forgery, perjury and identity deception," said Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard.
The warrants were served at Acapulco Mexican Restaurants in Batesville, Lawrenceburg, Rising Sun, Aurora and Versailles. Warrants were also served at two undisclosed residences in Lawrenceburg, a residence in Lafayette and a residence in Batesville. A tax preparation service in Greenwood, two banks in Lafayette and five other banks were also searched.
Investigators say many of the employees at the restaurants are illegal aliens, and the restaurants are reporting false sales taxes and fake social security numbers. They believe the money is going back to Mexico.
"These social security numbers were either belonging to live, or belonging to deceased people or were completely fabricated," said Negangard.
"We're in the process of investigating the under reporting of sales tax as well as the possibility of people using false social security numbers in order to be in this country," said Indiana Excise Police Superintendent Matt Strittmatter.
Officers are looking for evidence of corrupt business influence, money laundering, forgery, perjury, identity deception and theft.
"It appears they do not document all the money that they receive into the business," said Negangard.
The warrants are the result of an 18-month investigation.
The following people have been charged with several counts, including corrupt business influence, conspiracy to commit corrupt business influence, forgery and perjury:
Adolfo Lopez, 43, of Lawrenceburg
Benito Lopez, 49, of Batesville
Maria Visoso, 26, of Lawrenceburg
Abel Bustos, 50, of Lafayette
Adan Plasencia, of Batesville
Alejandro Mendez, of Lawrenceburg
Alfredo Visoso, of Aurora
Alvaro Ixtepan, of Batesville
"Someone who has a small business, who isn't obeying all the rules, it's not fair to all the small businesses struggling in this economy to make it when they don't get to cheat and not follow the rules," said Negangard.
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