Meat company co-owners get prison terms

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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ATLANTA, Ga. – Rhett Maughon, 49; his brother, Marcus Maughon, 47, both of Decatur, Ga.; and Rafael Villarreal Sr., 42, of Suwanee, Ga., were sentenced on Feb. 22 by United States District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. to serve time in federal prison on charges of tax and immigration fraud.

According to US Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the defendants and two others, who are not named as defendants in the indictment, jointly owned Atlanta Food Authority, doing business as Atlanta Meat Company, which supplied meat products to restaurants in the Southeast from early 2001 until June 2006.

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, Yates charged.

Rhett Maughon was sentenced to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to work 100 hours of community service. Villarreal was sentenced five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to submit to removal proceedings with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement after completing his prison term. Marcus Maughon must serve three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and he was ordered to work 100 hours of community service.

On Oct. 13, 2011, all three defendants pleaded guilty to certain charges, according to the US Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia. Each received the maximum sentence of imprisonment authorized by law.

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