Hamburguesas El Gordo owner accused of sales tax evasion

The woman who owns several popular burger joints in Minnesota is facing accusations of sales tax evasion in Dakota County.

Claudia Gutierrez Mendez, owner of Hamburguesas El Gordo, has been charged with multiple felony counts related to tax evasion, according to the Dakota County Attorney.

Mendez, who lives in South St. Paul, faces 11 counts in total, including filing false tax returns, failing to file a tax return, and failing to pay taxes. There are three Hamburguesas El Gordo restaurants across the metro in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and West St. Paul.

An investigation by the Minnesota Department of Revenue allegedly revealed discrepancies in the tax filings from March 2018 to November 2022, where Mendez allegedly underreported sales at her restaurants.

She is also accused of not filing returns from December 2022 to February 2023 despite the business operating as usual. According to the complaint, auditors estimate the unpaid sales tax owed exceeds $260,000.