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Former Refugio business owner pleads guilty to defrauding government

REFUGIO RAID 2-27-17.jpg
Posted at 4:37 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 18:46:14-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — A former Refugio restaurateur pleaded guilty to defrauding the government.

Federal agents raided two businesses owned by Alfredo Plascensia-Leon, back in February 2017, as part of a year-long criminal investigation.

At the time, Plascensia-Leon was accused of harboring 16 undocumented immigrants who worked in his restaurants. Prosecutors say those charges were dropped.

But he did plead guilty to making numerous financial transactions that were structured to avoid financial reporting requirements.

A criminal complaint report states Plascencia-Leon conducted several transactions acquiring multiple cashier checks under $10,000 for the purchase of a property, and utilized numerous people in an attempt to conceal the source of the money and thus triggering the Currency Report Requirement as well as continually deposited cash into his personal account in the amounts under $10,000.

Plascensia-Leon faces up to five years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine. His sentence date is set for Jan. 6, 2020.