Posted: 11:57 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012

Mexican restaraunt chain closed following arrests

By Justin McClelland

Staff Writer

A Mexican restaurant chain with locations in Lebanon and Fairfield remains closed Thursday after Indiana Police arrested more than 40 people on charges of identity theft, money laundering and other crimes.

Indiana State Excise Police arrested 41 people and seized evidence from 13 businesses, four residences and two vehicles related to an 18-month investigation in the Acapulco Mexican restaurant chain, according to Cpl. Travis Thickstun of the Excise Police.

Police believe that Acapulco’s operators and workers were using stolen social security numbers and not reporting sales to avoid paying sales taxes among other issues, Thickstun said. Officers seized roughly $3 million in U.S. currency, 12 vehicles and an undisclosed amount of foreign currency. They also searched the offices of a tax-preparation service in Greenwood, Ind., two banks in Lafayette, Ind., and five other banks in southeast Indiana.

So far the investigation has centered around Acapulco restaurants in Batesville, Lawrenceburg, Rising Sun, Aurora and Versailles, Ind.

Lebanon police had not received any complaints about the Lebanon location, located at 916 Columbus Ave., and were not currently investigating it, said Lebanon Police Chief Jeff Mitchell.

When called for comment, a person who identified himself as an employee at Acapulco said the Lebanon location was currently closed but he was hopeful it would be reopened “in a day or two.”

Fairfield’s Acapulco restaurant, 5953 Boymel Drive, was closed Wednesday and is closed again today. Officer Doug Day of the Fairfield police department said police are not investigating the restaurant, that no criminal complaints have been filed against the venue, and the business has been paying its city income taxes.

Acapulco operates nine locations in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, according to the company website.


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