Restaurant Chain Manager Pleads Guilty to Employment Tax Fraud
Caused Tax Loss of More Than $1.5 Million
The manager of the San Diego Home Cooking restaurant chain pleaded guilty today to employment tax fraud, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer Jr. for the Southern District of California.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Aleksandar Sreckovic was a manager for San Diego Home Cooking, a restaurant group with over 110 employees and five restaurants in the San Diego area, including Café 56 & Bar and Mission Valley Café & Bar in San Diego, Lake Murray Café in La Mesa, Lakeside Café in Lakeside, and Centre City Café in Escondido. Sreckovic had significant control over the finances of the company and had a duty to account for and pay over the employment taxes on behalf of the company’s employees to the IRS.
In November 2014, Sreckovic directed an outside payroll company to stop making employment-tax payments. From the last quarter of 2014 through 2017, Sreckovic did not file employment tax returns nor pay employment taxes for San Diego Home Cooking. In total, Sreckovic caused a tax loss of over $1.5 million. Instead of paying employment taxes, Sreckovic paid other creditors and his own personal expenses. Sreckovic has agreed to pay over $2.2 million in restitution, interest, and penalties to the IRS.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo scheduled sentencing for April 2, 2021. At sentencing, Sreckovic faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Brewer commended the special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Galvin and Trial Attorney Matthew Hoffman, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.