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Press Release

Maryland Pizza Parlor Owner Pleads Guilty to Employment Tax Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendant Caused IRS Tax Loss of Over $1.7 Million

A Maryland man pleaded guilty today to willfully failing to pay employment taxes withheld from his employees’ wages.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Francesco Illiano, of Mount Airy, owned and operated two restaurants and a property management company that employed over 100 people. Illiano was responsible for collecting, accounting for and paying the income and Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the wages of employees of the three companies he controlled. From at least April 2014 to July 2016, Illiano did not pay the withholdings to the IRS. Illiano had previously been assessed a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty for not paying more than $1.4 million in taxes withheld from employees of five Green Turtle restaurants he owned in 2011 and 2012. In total, Illiano caused a tax loss to the IRS of over $1.7 million.

Illiano is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron for the District of Maryland made the announcement.

IRS Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Shawn Noud of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jefferson Gray for the District of Maryland are prosecuting the case.

Updated November 27, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-1328