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Mexican restaurant owner's $3 million bond reversed, remanded

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The owner of a chain of Mexican restaurants in southeast Indiana charged with numerous crimes will have a lower bond after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion to reduce his $3 million bond.

Dearborn Circuit Judge James D. Humphrey set Adolfo Lopez’s bond at $3 million surety plus $250,000 cash after Lopez was charged with corrupt business influence, conspiracy to commit corrupt business influence, four counts of forgery, all as Class C felonies, and four counts of Class D felony perjury. He faces up to 60 years in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted.

Lopez was under investigation by State Excise Police who learned that the chain of Acapulco Mexican restaurants he owned might not have been reporting and documenting all sales. The Department of Revenue found sales were being underreported and revealed fraudulent Social Security numbers of employees. Search warrants were obtained for safety deposit boxes in Lopez’s name that revealed $3 million in cash.

Humphrey had a hearing on the bail-reduction motion but gave little weight to factors that weighed in Lopez’s favor, Judge Terry Crone wrote for the panel. The court was “troubled” by a ruling that didn’t account for the forfeiture of assets.

“We must emphasize that we are dealing with a constitutional right here, and the goal is not to punish in advance of conviction but to assure the defendant’s appearance in court,” Crone wrote. “Significantly, the State has already seized in excess of $3,000,000 from the search of Lopez’s safety deposit boxes. Nonappearance by Lopez jeopardizes his ability to eventually recover any portion of that large sum of money. This fact alone indicates that the risk of nonappearance is lowered and that the extraordinary bail set here is at an amount significantly higher than reasonably calculated to assure Lopez’s presence in court.

“We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand with instructions for the trial court to set a reasonable bond amount based upon the relevant statutory factors,” Crone wrote in Adolfo Lopez v. State of Indiana, 15A01-1212-CR-550.

More than 100 other people initially were charged along with Lopez after raids in September 2012, but those charges have been dismissed except for those against Lopez and his brother.  
 

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

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