Business owner receives jail time for stealing state sales tax

OLYMPIA, Wash. – July 11, 2023 – The owner of a Maple Valley construction company has been sentenced to two months in jail and ordered to pay back $102,000 after he was convicted of stealing state sales tax.

Alejandro Sandoval, owner of Sandoval Construction, pleaded guilty in April to first-degree theft for pocketing state sales tax after being charged by the state Attorney General’s Office with one count of first-degree theft and one count of making a fraudulent statement on a tax return.

Sandoval operated a wood-framing construction company called Sandoval Construction in Maple Valley from 2015-2020. An investigation of Sandoval’s business by the state Attorney General’s office prompted a separate investigation into Sandoval’s bank account, accountant records and employment records. 

While reviewing these records, investigators from the Attorney General’s office and Department of Revenue confirmed that between November 2017 and October 2020, Sandoval had been collecting sales tax on sales to his customers but had not returned it to the state as required. Sandoval then attempted to hide his theft by reporting to the Department of Revenue that the income was made from wholesale sales and not subject to the retail sales tax. 

The latest investigation into Sandoval’s tax filings stemmed from an earlier investigation of Sandoval’s business by the state Attorney General’s office and the state Department of Labor & Industries. The investigation concluded that Sandoval Construction had not paid $25,000 in wages owed to his employees and that Sandoval had underreported workers compensation insurance payments owed to the state.

Collecting but not remitting sales tax is illegal under Washington state law. Businesses that sell retail goods and services in Washington are required to collect sales tax from customers and send it to the state.

Retail sales tax is the largest source of state revenue and funds vital services that benefit Washington’s residents and economy, including schools, health care, and more.


The Department of Revenue is Washington state’s primary tax agency, nationally recognized as a trusted leader in tax administration and customer service. Revenue administers nearly 60 categories of taxes that help fund vital public services. It also oversees programs that return money to the public, including the Working Families Tax Credit and Unclaimed Property.