6 indicted for payroll tax evasion at Oregon construction companies


FILE: $100 bills. (NEXSTAR)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Portland grand jury indicted six people involved in a tax evasion scheme involving wages of construction workers, officials announced Thursday.

According to authorities, 45-year-old David A. Katz of Tualatin is facing charges of filing false currency transaction reports to the Department of Treasury.

Katz runs a check-cashing business, Check Cash Pacific, Inc., with locations throughout Portland and Vancouver, Washington.

Officials said Katz reportedly conspired with five people who work with Oregon-based construction companies by paying construction workers under-the-table to evade taxes.

The others charged in this case include 46-year-old Martin S. Elizondo of Tualatin, 47-year-old Melesio Gomez-Rivera of Aloha; 49-year-old Jorge Peraza, 46-year-old Natallie N. Graham of Beaverton, Oregon; and 60-year-old Jose L. Altamirano, Sr. of Bend.

From January 2014 to December 2017, Elizondo, Gomez-Rivera, and Peraza reportedly “evaded the employment tax obligations of their respective construction companies,” and helped other construction companies in tax schemes as well.

Authorities said they cashed about $192 million worth of payroll checks at Check Cash Pacific, Inc., which they used to pay the construction workers under the table — leading to an income tax loss of $68 million.

Katz, Elizondo, Gomez-Rivera, Peraza, and Graham are expected to appear in federal court in Portland December 15.

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