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Arts & Culture

Famed San Antonio Artist Jailed For Tax Evasion

Renowned artist Carlos Cortes will be going to jail after pleading guilty to charges in federal court in San Antonio that he failed to file tax returns for four years.

U.S. magistrate judge John Primomo handed down the maximum sentence for the well-known sculptor, ordering Carlos Cortes to jail for a year and ordering him to pay the government more than $400 thousand dollars he owed in back taxes.

Cortes told the San Antonio Express-News he's embarrassed that he didn't do a better job of bookkeeping and for putting things off. He said he's learned to take care of things when they come up.

The Express-News reports the years in question are from 2006 to 2009, and that in 2006 and 2007, Cortes earned less than $70-thousand dollars. But in 2008, around the time he installed the Grotto project on the Museum Reach of the San Antonio River, Cortes' earnings jumped to more than $450-thousand and to more than $780-thousand in 2009.

In San Antonio, Cortes is well-known for the Grotto water fountain sculpture, the Treehouse at the Witte Museum, and for restorations of several faux bois bus shelters, art installations and bridges in Brackenridge Park. His work also can be seen in Landa Park in New Braunfels, and, he reportedly was commissioned to design a dining table for Martha Stewart.