Chelan Falls man extradited from Mexico to serve sentence for fraudulent tax returns

Credit: Paul Chiasson

CHELAN FALLS, Wash. — A man from Chelan Falls, Washington, was extradited from Mexico to serve a 30-month prison sentence for filing fraudulent tax returns.

According to court documents, Jose L. Echeverria filed fraudulent income tax returns for his produce sales business from 2009 through 2012. The U.S. attorney’s office says Echeverria underreported his businesses’ income by a total of $564,292 and wired most of the unreported income to an account in Mexico. Court documents claim he used those funds to purchase land, vacation homes, and cars.

Echeverria pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return in February 2017 and the district court granted him permission to travel to Mexico for two months while he awaited sentencing. He did not return to the U.S. for the sentencing hearing.

While he was absent, Echeverria was sentenced to 30 months in prison, one year of supervised release, and $183,191 in restitution to the IRS. Echevarria resided in Mexico for nearly five years before Mexican authorities arrested him. Mexico surrendered him to the custody of U.S. Marshals on Feb. 10.

“The only way to ensure a safe and strong community in Eastern Washington is for everyone in society to pay their fair share,” said Vanessa R. Waldref, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. “Mr. Echeverria defrauded the government and his fellow citizens out of nearly $200,000 in taxes, spent that money on land in Mexico, vacation homes, and personal vehicles, and fled from justice for almost five years. It is sometimes said that justice delayed is justice denied, but this case illustrates a different adage – that the only absolutes in life are deathand taxes.”

Echeverria is now detained without bond pending the execution of his sentence.

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