JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The father-and-son owners of two construction firms in Jacksonville have pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. They also admitted to employing workers who were not legal in the U.S.
Raul Solis, 52, and Raul Solis-Martinez, 32, owned and operated Solis Brothers Company LLC and Duval Framing LLC. Both are subcontracting companies in Jacksonville.
To keep labor costs down, both father and son collaborated with each other — and the owner of another contractor, H&S Framing LLC — to pay their employees “off the books”.
“By paying employees with a mix of checks and cash, the conspirators avoided withholding the full amount of payroll taxes owed to the IRS... Between 2014 and 2019, Solis and Solis-Martinez’s workers received approximately $22,186,096.35 in wages that were never reported to the IRS and from which no taxes were withheld,” according to a release from the Department of Justice.
By lying how much their employees were working, Solis and Solis-Martinez also cheated the company that managed their payroll, as well as a compensation insurance company.
Investigators confirmed that some of Solis and Solis-Martinez’s workers had been previously deported from the U.S., only to return and work for them.
Both father and son have agreed to pay back $5,613,082.38 in compensation to the IRS.
The agencies involved in the investigation include the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, and the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Solis and Solis-Martinez both face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. No sentencing date has been scheduled yet.
Correction: A previous version of this story mentioned the FBI, but that agency did not take part in the investigation.