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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The owner of a Rochester jewelry business has been sentenced to six months in prison for tax evasion.

The US Attorney for Minnesota says 62-year-old Bernard Benavidez previously entered a guilty plea to one count of making and subscribing a false tax return. According to court documents, he was accused of "regularly and intentionally" diverting significant portions of the gross sales from Master Jewelers in Rochester into his personal bank accounts in order to lower the business's tax liabilities.

Ingram Publishing

It was also alleged that Benavidez would occasionally have customers pay him personally for work he completed on behalf of the business. Court records also alleged that the business sold significant amounts of scrap metal and Benavidez directed the proceeds into his own accounts.

In total, the court records indicate Benavidez successfully concealed more than $432,000 in revenues generated by Master Jewelers, which reduced its taxes by about $147,000.

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