Feds indict Avon business owner for tax evasion
April 19, 2017
AVON — A federal grand jury indicted an Eagle County man on four charges of tax evasion.
Sergio Murillo, 41, owns and operates Mountain High Window Cleaning in Avon, a window cleaning and snow removal business.
The federal indictment alleges that between 2007 and 2010, Murillo concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in income earned through his business and attempted to dodge $188,578 in federal income taxes.
Murillo is accused of telling clients to write checks payable to him, then depositing that money into his personal account.
Murillo says he let his clients decide whether to write checks to his business, or him personally and the Mountain High invoices contained both names, the indictment states.
The indictment also says Murillo told IRS agents he deposited all Mountain High money into a business bank account, the only account he had.
However, the federal indictment says he maintained several accounts at Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank under the name Sergio A. Murillo-Nunez, into which a portion of Mountain High's business receipts were deposited.
In 2007, for example, Murillo claimed the business lost $23,481 and that he owed no income taxes. IRS agents claim he earned $138,052, and that he owed $40,305 in taxes, according to the indictment.
The indictment states this pattern continued through 2010.
Between 2007 and 2010, Murillo earned $621,762, but claimed the business lost $62,661, the indictment said.
Murillo was not arrested and will not be prior to a trial, the indictment said.
If convicted, then Murillo faces up 20 years in prison and fines up to $1 million — five years in prison and fines up to $250,000 for each of the four counts.
Calls to Mountain High Window Cleaning and Snow Removal for comment were not returned.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. It merely alleges that crimes have been committed. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, said Pete Hautzinger, Assistant United States Attorney.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.