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Date: 09-10-2019

Case Style:

United States of America v. Jose Cerritos

Case Number: 2:17-cr-00689-JS

Judge: Joanna Seybert

Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Suffolk County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Sarah C. Ranney

Defendant's Attorney:

Call Kent Morlan at 888-354-4529 if you need a white collar criminal defense tax law lawyer in New York.


Central Islip, NY - Long Island Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Tax Laws

He provided False Business Records to Impede an Internal Revenue Service Investigation.

A Brentwood, New York, business owner pleaded guilty to corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws.

According to court filings and facts presented at the plea proceeding, Jose Cerritos (Cerritos) owned and operated La Centro Americana Corp. (La Centro), a wholesale food distribution business based in Bay Shore, New York, that sold imported food products for resale to New York metropolitan area customers. Cerritos diverted cash receipts from the business bank accounts, which caused La Centro’s tax returns for 2011 and 2012 to significantly underreport the size of the business - and its profits - to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He also filed his own individual income tax returns, falsely understating the income he received from La Centro. Cerritos also gave the IRS false business records, which purported to show La Centro’s yearly sales for 2011 and 2012, but omitted millions of dollars in gross receipts for each year.

United States District Court Judge Joanna Seybert, who accepted Cerritos’ guilty plea, scheduled sentencing for March 6, 2020. Cerritos faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked special agents of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation.


26 U.S.C. 7212(a); 18 U.S.C. 2 and 3551 et seq. Corruptly Endeavoring to Obstruct and Impede the Due Administration of the Internal Revenue Laws
26 U.S.C. 7206(2); 18 U.S.C. 2 and 3551 et seq. Aiding and Assisting in the Preparation of False Corporate Tax Returns
26 U.S.C. 7206(2); 18 U.S.C. 2 and 3551 et seq. Aiding and Assisting in the Preparation of False Individual Tax Returns
31 U.S.C. 5324(a)(3) and 5324(d)(2); 18 U.S.C. 2 and 3551 et seq. Structuring of Financial Transactions; Criminal Forfeiture Allegation 31 U.S.C. 5317(c)(1)(A) and 5317(c)(1)(B); 21 U.S.C. 853(p)

Outcome: 09/09/2019 36 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Joanna Seybert: Change of Plea Hearing as to Jose Cerritos held on 9/9/2019, withdrawing 34 Motion to Suppress. Plea entered by Jose Cerritos: Guilty to Count 1. Sentencing set for Fri. 3/6/2020 at 10:30am in Courtroom 1030 before Judge Joanna Seybert. (Court Reporter FG) (Baran, Charles) (Entered: 09/09/2019)

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