San Antonio couple sentenced in federal court after restaurant investment fraud scheme

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The United States Department of Justice is announcing the sentencing of a husband and wife accused of running a restaurant investment scheme to defraud business clients of over $1 million.

Juan Enrique Kramer, 46, was sentenced to three years in prison and he will also forfeit $59,589 in proceeds. Kramer also owes $1,171,497 to the victims of wire fraud and restitution of $727,936 to the IRS.

Adriana Pastor, 47, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and is also liable for the $727,936 to the IRS.

“Investment fraud schemes such as what Kramer and Pastor engaged in are specifically designed to take advantage of vulnerable, trusting individuals,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “Today’s sentences underscore that this is unacceptable criminal conduct and violators will be held accountable.”

Court documents show that Kramer and other co-conspirators were promoting a “turn-key” business venture to Mexican nationals, consisting of a chain of Mexican food restaurants throughout the United States and Mexico known as “Las Quesadillas.” Kramer was charging buyers between $105,000 and $250,000 to get involved, but he was accused of not delivering on the promised services, which included finding locations, training employees, obtaining permits, and handling legal fees.

Kramer was accused of using the money for personal gain or to give partial payments to other customers who wanted their money back. When some customers refused to engage in other investment opportunities proposed by Kramer, the DOJ says he would threaten to sue them for breach of contract.

On February 1, 2022, Kramer pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of failure to file an individual tax return.

On February 22, 2022, Pastor pleaded guilty to one count of aiding or assisting in filing a false tax return.

Two co-defendants who remain are pending sentencing.