Real estate developer sentenced for filing false tax returns 

A San Francisco real estate developer was sentenced in federal court in The City Monday to 2½ years in prison for evading taxes on $45 million in property sales.

Luke Brugnara, 46, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge William Alsup to pay the government $1.9 million in restitution and a $50,000 fine.

Brugnara pleaded guilty Jan. 26 to three counts of filing false income tax returns for the years 2000 through 2002 by failing to report capital gains from $45 million in sales of commercial properties.

The properties were located on Post, Market and Mission streets in downtown San Francisco and in Las Vegas.

In a separate case, Brugnara pleaded guilty before a different judge Jan. 26 to four counts of “taking,” a legal term for harming or killing, protected steelhead trout on property he owns in Gilroy.

The trout are federally listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Brugnara is seeking to withdraw his guilty plea in the second case and U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney will hold a hearing on his request on Wednesday.

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