Sobering: IRS brings criminal charges against owners of “Cesar’s Killer Margaritas”

The owners of two Cesar’s Killer Margaritas locations in Lakeview are charged with underreporting their businesses’ income during 2012. | Cesar’s Killer Margaritas

 The owners of two long-running Lakeview restaurants are facing federal criminal charges of underreporting their businesses’ gross receipts by using “sales suppression software and other techniques,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago.

Sandra Sanchez, the 44-year-old owner of Cesar’s Killer Margaritas at 3166 North Clark Street, and 43-year-old Israel Sanchez, the owner of Cesar’s Killer Margaritas at 2924 North Broadway, were among five restaurant owners who were charged on Tuesday, federal prosecutors said.

Cesar’s location on Broadway. | Cesar’s Killer Margaritas

An automated sales suppression device, commonly known as a “zapper,” creates false sales records on point-of-sale systems in restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses. The zapper’s records show significantly lower sales than are actually generated, allowing business owners to save money on various taxes.

“The charges announced today are an important step in the fight against individuals and restaurants in our community that cheat on their taxes,” said Internal Revenue Service Special Agent-in-Charge Gabriel Grchan. “This is only the beginning.  I want to warn those restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, and other establishments that are currently using or thinking of using sales suppression software, that we are on to you and your methods.  If you steal from the federal government, there will be serious consequences.”

The Sanchezes are accused of underreporting their restaurants’ gross receipts for the 2012 calendar year.

Also charged were the owners of three suburban restaurants: Katy’s Dumpling House in Westmont; Sushi City in Downers Grove; and Hunan Spring in Evanston, according to prosecutors. The suburban cases involve multiple years of receipts for each restaurant.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is