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Amherst restaurant owner pleads guilty to filing a false income tax

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2014

       BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Ravi Sabharwal, 58, of Williamsville, N.Y., pleaded guilty plea to filing a false tax return before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The charge carries a maximum sentenced of three years in prison, a fine of $100,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that Sabharwal, owner of Tandoori’s restaurant in Amherst, N.Y., underreported the gross receipts of the business on corporate tax returns to avoid paying federal taxes. 

In October 2012, the defendant attempted to sell Tandoori’s restaurant and two related businesses to any interested buyers by listing the businesses for sale with a broker. Between October 2012 and March 2013, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID) undercover agents, posing as interested buyers, met with the defendant to negotiate the terms of the sale of the business. During conversations with the agents, Sabharwal admitted that he significantly underreported the gross receipts and the taxable income for Tandoori’s restaurant on corporate tax returns. The defendant was able to underreport the gross receipts and taxable income by not running the receipts of a related business through the register and by not depositing all the business receipts to the business bank accounts. 

On October 7, 2012, Sabharwal assisted in the preparation of the corporate tax return for Tandoori’s restaurant for calendar year 2011 by providing his accountant, who prepared the corporate tax returns, with information concerning the gross receipts of the business. The return reported that the gross receipts for the calendar year 2011 were the sum of $738,358 and that the total amount of tax due was $4,686. The gross receipts of Tandori’s restaurant for the calendar year 2011 were actually $1,052,372.89, with taxes due to the IRS totaling $48,952. 

In addition, Sabharwal similarly assisted with the preparation of a false and fraudulent corporate tax return for Tandoori’s restaurant for calendar year 2010. The total tax due was $95,063.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 6, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.