Abolghassem “Abe” Alizadeh, the owner of 71 Jack in the Box restaurants in California, has pleaded guilty to felony grand theft and other criminal charges around his tax practices.
The investigation began looking into Alizadeh, 54, in April 2010. According to Jaime Garza of California State Board of Equalization, authorities became aware Alizadeh was diverting sales and employee payroll tax dollars from the state “for his business and personal interests.” The resulting investigation spurred the California Attorney General’s Office to charge Alizadeh with evading $5.4 million in state sales tax to the board of equalization, and nearly $1.8 million to California’s Employment Development Department.
Alizadeh appeared in court Monday, Nov. 5, at the Bill Santucci Justice Center in Roseville and agreed to enter into a plea bargain with state prosecutor Ronald Smetena.
Garza said that Alizadeh’s felony sentencing will be postponed for four years to allow him to pay $1.7 million in restitution to the state of California. Alizadeh’s Jack in the Boxes, as well as his company Kobra Properties, are currently in bankruptcy.
“If he makes the required payments on time, he will be sentenced to three years probation in Placer County,” Garza said in statement. “If Alizadeh fails to make timely or adequate payments during the coming four years, he may be sentenced to up to four years and four months in state prison.”
Alizadeh’s plea agreement also bars him from receiving any licenses or seller’s permits with the Board of Equalization.
~ Scott Thomas Anderson