So, we told you that El Balazo closed. Then, we told you that the building was up for sale. Now, we know why the beloved burrito shop shut its doors.
Nicole and Marino Sandoval, owners of the Balazo on Haight Street as well as 11 other restaurants in the bay area, pleaded guilty to charges of hiring undocumented workers, withholding their taxes, and under-reporting their pay. Nicole was sentenced to five years of probation and one year of community confinement, and Marino was sentenced to 41 months in prison. They'll also have to pay the IRS $2,216,010 for their troubles. The IRS and Immigrations and Customs first descended upon the Sandovals in 2008, and since then, all of their restaurants have closed or changed hands. The Haight Street El Balazo (which means "the gunshot" in Spanish), was the last restaurant standing.
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