Former restaurateurs plead guilty to not paying more than $60,000 in sales tax –

CLEARFIELD – Two former restaurateurs pleaded guilty Monday to not paying more than $60,000 in sales tax for their Phillipsburg business.

Saldana, 37, of Hollisburg and Armando Mendoza Saldana, 49, of Patton were originally charged with seven felony counts of theft for failing to act as required funds by agents of the Attorney General’s Office in 2020.

The fees stem from their business from January 20, 2016 to July 20, 2017 at their Mexican restaurant, Salsa Mexican Grill in Philipsburg.

President Judge Frederick J. Amrman pleaded guilty in their cases in January after learning they had only paid $15,000 in compensation.

Omarman accepted a petition for five years of probation in a misdemeanor theft for failure to dispose of funds to each of them on Monday after they paid a total of $60,000.

They still owe a balance of $1,866.32. It was noted that neither of them had previous criminal records.

Before the verdict was pronounced, Sabrina Saldana apologized to the court.

According to the probable cause testimony, Sabrina Saldana owned 85 percent of the company while her father was a silent partner of 15 percent. She ran the company with her husband, Armando Saldana, who is listed as co-operator.

Records show that a total of $61,866.32 in sales tax was collected during the fourth quarter of 2015 through the second quarter of 2017 and was not paid to the state.

The restaurants were under the name Salsa Mexican Grill II LLP and had three locations: Philipsburg, Columbia in Lancaster County and Anville in Lebanon County.

It was discovered that Sabrina Saldana owned and operated Salsa Mexican Grill Inc. in Bedford, which also had sales tax liability.

Later, she had a business known as Salsa Mexican Grill III LLC for a mobile lunch truck in Hollisburg.

Initially with Salsa Mexican Grill II LLP, an accountant made sales tax payments. This ended after the second quarter of 2016.

This accountant told investigators that she “asked Saldana that they should make the tax payments.”

Instead, the couple used the sales tax money to pay other restaurant expenses and personal bills.

When Armando Saldana was interviewed in October 2018, he reportedly admitted that the couple were responsible for filing forms and sales tax money and decided to use the money for other things.

He also stated that he was not aware that failure to submit forms and pay in a timely manner is a criminal offence.

Armando Saldana told investigators that after the accountant was no longer responsible for paying sales tax, she continued to advise them to pay the taxes, but they refused to listen to her advice because they did not have the money.

It was previously said that they have similar issues to other companies, but there are no further fees listed in the online court documents.

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