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A Lemon Grove car dealer nailed for failing to remit sales tax on over $4.9 million in used-vehicle sales has been sentenced to work furlough and ordered to pay over $400,000 after pleading guilty to felony grand theft and burglary, the California Board of Equalization announced on July 3.

Miguel Guarneros owned and operated Drive Motors, a Spring Valley used-car dealership, from 2005 through 2011. Sometime in 2007, however, taxes from the vehicles he sold stopped flowing into the state treasury. But it took authorities until 2010 to notice the unreported sales, at which point an investigation was launched.

Between 2007 and 2011, Guarneros failed to pay an estimated $400,360 due the state on cars that passed through his lot.

In entering his guilty plea, Guarneros presented the board of equalization with $90,000. He was sentenced last week to pay restitution in an amount equal to his theft (another $310,360 is still outstanding), as well as 300 days in a local work-furlough facility.

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