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Boutique owners to pay $20K in sales taxes

Posted: June 25, 2013 - 5:44pm  |  Updated: June 26, 2013 - 12:07am

The owners of a downtown Juneau boutique have pleaded guilty to failing to pay city sales taxes and were ordered to pay nearly $20,000 in restitution.

Dana Ortiz Louwerse and Manuel Hernandez, both 33, of Zopro HQ and Choco Boutique, entered into a plea deal in Juneau District Court earlier this month.

They each pleaded guilty to one count of failing to file and one count of failing to remit the tax. The remaining charges were dismissed by prosecutors in exchange for their pleas.

The deal also entails a suspended 180-day jail sentence and a $1,000 suspended fine and requires them to pay $19,780.95 as a condition of probation. The restitution due is owed jointly.

The City and Borough of Juneau originally charged the couple in March 2012 with four misdemeanors each, saying they failed to pay their taxes from April 2010 through September 2011, and failed to file their tax returns for October through December of 2011, according to an affidavit.

Failure to file/remit is a Class ‘A’ misdemeanor that has a maximum penalty of a year in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

The couple could not be reached for comment by press time.

Choco Boutique was located at 127 S. Franklin St. and was one of the commercial businesses located on the ground floor of the Gastineau Apartment building. The store was damaged and displaced in the November fire that also closed the apartment building.

Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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