The former owners of a landmark Italian restaurant in Paterson were each sentenced to six months in federal prison Tuesday for cheating the U.S. government out of more than $240,000 in taxes by concealing income from their cash-only business.
Elio Federico, 71, of Totowa, and his brother, Ralph Federico, 68, of Saddle Brook, also must remain under supervised release for a year and pay $160,000 in fines each.
The brothers operated the more-than-50-year-old E&V Restaurant on a cash-only basis, paid a "substantial portion" of the employee payroll in cash, and paid "virtually all of their suppliers" in cash, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Each pleaded guilty to a single count of tax evasion in U.S. District Court in Newark this past May, admitting that they:
- took a cash “skim” from the restaurant’s gross receipts;
- reprogrammed the cash register so it would not maintain a gross receipt balance for more than a few days;
- "deliberately failed to provide the restaurant’s accountant with invoices that reflected the true cost of goods sold and the actual amount of gross income that the business generated," Carpenito said.
They also admitted that they ignored the necessary income and employment taxes that they owed from 2011 through 2014, resulting in a tax loss to the U.S. of $241,219.
Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation with the investigation that produced the guilty pleas, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernard J. Cooney of his Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
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