SAN ANTONIO, Texas – When Julio Rodriguez isn’t busy rebuilding cars at J & A Auto Collision Center in Seguin, he spends his off-hours rebuilding his credit with the IRS and the State of Texas.
Rodriguez said he owes more than $13,000 this year -- money needed to correct and convince agents that he has paid his collision repair shop’s taxes.
“They called me and said you need to pay this money. And I said I paid. They said, ‘Hey, we didn’t get the money yet,’” he said.
Rodriguez showed KENS 5 notices sent by his accountant to the taxing agencies. But Rodriguez said the documents appear to be faked.
“They froze my account. They bounced checks. I have to figure out how to do payroll for my guys,” he added.
Rodriguez believes he was victimized by his so-called certified public accountant -- someone well known to the KENS 5 I-Team: Richard Soto.
Last November, the I-Team uncovered a trail of documents stretching back into the 1980s -- records that indicate Soto has taken tens of thousands of dollars from his clients.
The money was supposed to pay their tax bills. Instead, his victims said it lined his pockets.
Rodriguez said: “He’s doing a lot of damage to a lot of businesses. He closed businesses in San Antonio, and the poor people — it’s not even their fault. He pockets the money and runs. That’s not right.”
In the eight months that have passed, the I-Team found nothing has changed. Soto still has yet to take or pass any state board certified CPA exam.
The I-Team met Soto as he left his offices on San Pedro Avenue. He wouldn’t comment on his status and remained silent about his practice, which continues in another office tucked away on the city’s northeast side and in Universal City.