LOS ANGELES — Brothers Dagoberto Dueñas, 59, of Rosemead, and Mario Ernesto Gonzalez, 53, of Los Angeles, pleaded no contest to one count of sales tax evasion on Dec. 2, according to Board of Equalization (BOE) Chairman Jerome E. Horton.

Each was sentenced to three years in state prison, to be served in county jail. Deputy District Attorney James Belna of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Major Fraud Division prosecuted the case.

“Tax evasion is a serious crime and it is gratifying that these men will be held to account for depriving our state’s honest taxpayers of more than $1.5 million in services,” said Chairman Horton.

Dueñas and Gonzalez owned and operated Space Auto Sales and Spin Auto Sales, respectively, used car dealerships in Los Angeles. The businesses sold used cars from approximately 2007 to 2009.  

The BOE’s investigation against Dueñas and Gonzalez began in 2008 when it was discovered that they had failed to report a large amount of sales. The investigation revealed that Dueñas failed to report at least $12.3 million in taxable sales resulting in approximately $1,043,939 in unreported sales tax from 2007 through 2009. Gonzalez was held responsible for failing to report almost $500,000 of sales tax under Spin Auto Sales.