San Antonio businessman pleads guilty to wire fraud

Indictment reveals employee, at his direction, filed false monthly tax returns


Authorities say a 62-year-old San Antonio businessman pled guilty to wire fraud on Thursday.

Kenneth William Griffin, 62, also known as Ted Baker and owner of the Restaurant Repair Company in San Antonio, pled guilty.

Attorneys say Griffin's business performed restaurant equipment service, sales, and installation in San Antonio.

The indictment alleged that Griffin perpetrated a scheme to defraud the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts of sales tax he was required to pay to the state of Texas on a monthly basis.

Attorneys said the scheme to defraud the State of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts resulted in a loss of approximately $169,052.82 to the state of Texas.

The state of Texas, through the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, requires businesses that provide sales and services to the public to collect sales taxes and pay all of these collected sales taxes to the state of Texas on a monthly basis.

Attorneys said Griffin's company was required to file a sales tax return each calendar month and report total monthly sales, taxable sales, state tax due, local tax due, and amount being paid to the state.

According to the indictment and Griffin's plea of guilty, he or an employee at his direction, electronically filed materially false monthly sales tax returns for the Restaurant Repair Company from Jan. 1, 2010, through Jan. 20, 2012.

Attorneys said the filings falsely understated the company's taxable sales by approximately 90 percent, and Griffin routinely paid the state of Texas only about 10 percent of the actual sales taxes collected from customers that were due and owing.

In addition to operating the Restaurant Repair Company, attorneys said Griffin hosted a weekly radio talk show promoting ways to avoid paying sales taxes.

Griffin faces up to 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release and restitution of the amount of the loss. Sentencing will be at a later date.