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Press Release

Local Food Service Company Owner Indicted for Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that an Indictment was handed down this week by a federal grand jury charging Frank D. Dolce, age 50, of Wilmington, Delaware with eight counts of tax fraud, one count of structuring to avoid reporting requirements, one count of conspiracy to commit theft from the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs, and 22 counts of theft from the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs.  Dolce faces up to 10 years of imprisonment for the structuring charge, 3 years of imprisonment on the tax fraud charges, and five years of imprisonment on the conspiracy and each theft offense, and a maximum of a $500,000 fine for structuring, a $100,000 fine for tax fraud, and a $250,000 fine for each remaining offense. 

According to the Indictment, Dolce was the owner of Primos Food Service (“Primos”), a food service management company located in Wilmington, Delaware.  Primos provided cafeteria services to charter schools in Philadelphia and to the Delaware County Courthouse and Government Center in Media, Pennsylvania.  The Indictment alleges that Dolce filed false tax returns both personally and on behalf of Primos, because he failed to report certain cash collected from the schools and the Courthouse Café.  

The Indictment further alleges that in January and February 2013, Dolce made or directed one of his employees to make twenty-seven cash deposits, each slightly below $10,000, into different accounts at two branches of TD Bank, N.A.   The total cash deposited was over $250,000.  The Indictment alleges that Dolce structured the cash transactions in this manner with the intention of avoiding the bank’s requirements to report cash transactions greater than $10,000 to the Department of the Treasury.  After the above cash deposits were made, Dolce then used that cash in part to purchase a boat for approximately $355,500.

Finally, the Indictment charges that Dolce conspired with others to steal money directly or indirectly from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), because he falsely inflated claims for reimbursement for meals served to qualifying students at charter schools between April 2011 and January 2014.  Specifically, by claiming more meals served under the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs than were actually served, the Indictment alleges that Dolce stole USDA funds on a number of dates relating to claims for student meals served at Imhotep Institute Charter High School, Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School, and Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School, all in Philadelphia.

“This Indictment serves notice to individuals who knowingly defraud federal programs designed to benefit our children.  These programs are funded with the tax dollars of the American public.  It is the responsibility of all federal contractors to provide all services that have been promised and to accurately report all income earned from those contracts.   The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division will gladly provide their financial expertise to pursue those who attempt to enrich themselves by defrauding the federal government.”  said Akeia Conner, Internal Revenue Service, Special Agent in Charge. 

This case is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, and the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General - Investigations.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer K. Welsh, District of Delaware.

The charges in the Indictment are only allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 25, 2016

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