Ukiah Restaurant Owner Sentenced to Two Years for Tax Evasion Issues and Hiring People Who Are in the Country Illegally

Department of Justice smallerPress release from the Department of Justice:

Yaowapha Ritdet, a Ukiah, California, restaurateur, was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the internal revenue laws and harboring illegal aliens for profit, announced U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan Spradlin, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Judge Edward M. Chen, U.S. District Judge, following the entry of a plea agreement in August 2016 in which Ritdet admitted committing the crimes.

According to her plea agreement, Ritdet, 56, of Ukiah, admitted she hired Thai nationals who were illegally present in the United States to work at her restaurants, Ruen Tong Thai Cuisine and Walter Café, both located in Ukiah. Ritdet underpaid these employees and instructed them not to speak to anyone about their immigration status.  Ritdet also paid her employees in cash and did not pay employment taxes on the cash wages.  Ritdet also admitted she willfully filed false individual income tax returns for 2007 through 2011 that underreported the gross receipts, sales, and income received from her two restaurants. In addition, Ritdet acknowledged she failed to report she had a financial interest in an account at a Thai bank.

On August 2, 2016, Ritdet was charged in a superseding information with one count of corrupt endeavor to impede and impair the lawful administration of the internal revenue laws, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a), and one count of harboring illegal aliens for private financial gain, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii), and (B)(i).  She pleaded guilty to both counts on August 17, 2016.

In addition to the 24-month prison term and restitution, Judge Chen ordered Ritdet to pay more than $560,000 in restitution— $567,755.65 to be paid to the IRS and $70,768.65 to be paid to the employees whose wages she underpaid. Further, Judge Chen ordered Ritdet to serve three years of supervised release.

Assistant U.S. Attorney José A. Olivera and Trial Attorney Charles O’Reilly of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case. U.S. Attorney Stretch and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg thanked the prosecutors as well as special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations, who conducted the investigation; and the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, who identified the underpayment of wages and overtime.

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18 comments

  • fakeemail@gmail.com

    throw the f-ing book at them.

  • I’m curious if she has an interest in the six “foot massage” clinics in Ukiah?

  • Wow, not surprised

  • yeah, whatever. the best Thai food north has just gone belly up. Not like anybody else does what she just got caught at. Scheese. So hard to get things to all go right at once.

  • They just opened a In and out burger in ukiah, nothing to worry about here folks…

  • I wish they’d lock up the politicians who promote slave labor like this. FIX the Immigration system or get a new job you lousy mfsob’s. oops, sorry Kym, but this is exactly what really irks my goat. There’s no excuse for them being undocumented. They should be free to work in American anywhere they choose to live, instead of having to slave under the table underpaid, under appreciated, under threat. I’m pissed at the politicians and at the cruel citizens who lobby for slave laborers.
    Throw away the key plus arrest all politicians who endorse this “undocumented” crap! Everyone should be free to live free, which can only be done through proper channels so that all individuals are secure in their papers and homes.

    • you nailed it its the corrupt politicians who promote this along with secureing votes by supposedly offering amnesty. trump is so right he wants them all registered and documented to prevent this form of corruption and forced slave labor

      • The people voted for Trump due to his jingle campaign, but very few literally expect him to be true to his slogans. He plays the game too.
        Until the people return to the 5 original documents that created the country, nothing will change for reals. They will just keep reading confirmation bias material to puff their egos.

  • It’s not hard to do the right thing!!the owner is not very trustworthy and acting like a crimanal himself!!

    • Herself. And she is going to prison because she IS a criminal.

      • Oh I’m so sorry,herself.i didn’t realize this story goes back awhile. What a shame people act this way. Sorry for HER employees,and the people who ate there

  • Sounds like a lot of things that Drumpf has also done! Throw him in jail too!

  • Steal a little and they throw you in jail
    Steal a lot and they make you king
    -Bob Dylan

  • Sigh, Ukiah is filled with people slaved to the media with the belief that everything they read and see from the media is true. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the individuals in Mendocino county are like this. Acting like you know what is right or wrong without understanding the details. I bet you think “Muslims” caused 9/11.

  • Thinking allowed

    Most who hire illegals do so to take financial advantage. There is nothing altruistic about it. Illegals work for less, don’t file for unemployment, worker’s comp, etc. If they prove a nuisance, they are safely fired as they rarely will go to authorities with dirty laundry. And, if they become legal later, the cost of straightening out their taxes falls on the tax payer as the illegal is not held responsible and the employer, who is held responsible, easily avoids the consequences. So- to be ‘fair’, the illegal is made whole through tax payer funds. The employer, who has the advantage of hiring labor at bargain rates over his more scrupulous competitor, gets rich. This story about getting caught and held to account is so rare that in decades of work, it’s the first one I ever heard.

  • mendocino mamma

    Hello…hundreds of Thai wives in the hills slaving for nothing!

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