Three meat co. owners sentenced to federal prison

ATLANTA — Three owners of an Atlanta meat company were sentenced this week to federal prison on charges of tax and immigration fraud.

U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. sentenced Rhett Maughon, 49, of Decatur, Rafael Villarreal Sr., 42, of Suwanee, and Marcus Maughon, 47, of Decatur, to prison after all three pleaded guilty to various charges in October 2011. The men pleaded after roughly two days of trial testimony but before the government closed its case.

“The defendants’ unwritten business “success” plan for Atlanta Meat Company included cutting legal corners by hiring undocumented workers and evading federal taxes, in part by ensuring that the cash they received in their business never made it to their accountant’s books,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release. “In the end, their plan failed miserably. The secret profits they enjoyed for a short time cannot make up for the years they will now spend in federal prison.”

Rhett Maughon, who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count, was sentenced to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service. Villarreal, who also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count, was sentenced to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to submit to removal proceedings with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement after he finishes his prison term.

Marcus Maughon, who pleaded guilty to filing a false individual income tax return for the 2005 year, was sentenced to three years in prison, three years of supervised release and 100 hours of community service.

“The defendants knowingly hired illegal workers and circumvented our nation’s immigration and tax laws for financial gain,” Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Atlanta, said in a news release. “The goal of our enforcement efforts is two-fold—reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect job opportunities for lawful American workers.”

About the author

Express Telegraph

Express-Telegraph is a news outlet for the 21st century. Based in Metro Atlanta, the outlet focuses on news, politics and sports centered on The Peach State. Get on board the Express.