CFO Of “Soup Nazi” Business Indicted For Tax Evasion
Defendant Failed to Pay Medicare, Social Security, and Federal Income Taxes
An indictment was unsealed earlier today at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn charging Robert N. Bertrand, the Chief Financial Officer of Soupman, Inc., with 20 counts of failure to pay Medicare, Social Security, and federal income taxes. Soupman, Inc., which is based in Staten Island, and licenses the name and recipes of Al Yeganeh, the “Soup Nazi” character from the television series “Seinfeld.” The defendant will be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go.
The charges were announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James D. Robnett, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Division, New York Field Office (IRS).
As alleged in the indictment and publicly filed documents, Bertrand had a corporate responsibility to collect, truthfully account for, and pay Medicare, Social Security, and federal income taxes (collectively, “trust fund taxes”) for Soupman’s employees. However, between 2010 and 2014, Bertrand paid Soupman employees on the side in unreported cash amounts, and compensated certain employees in large unreported stock awards. Bertrand never reported this employee compensation to the IRS, and never paid trust fund taxes on the cash payments or the stock awards, despite a 2012 warning from an external auditor that these payments should be reported to the IRS. From 2010 through 2014, Soupman’s total approximate unreported cash and stock compensation was $2,850,967.59, and the total approximate tax loss to the United States was $593,971.52.
“As alleged, the United States was fleeced out of more than half a million dollars through the defendant’s corporate misdeeds,” stated Acting United States Attorney Rohde. “Tax crimes like those alleged in the indictment hurt every American citizen. My Office and our law enforcement partners will prosecute such crimes to the full extent of the law.”
“IRS Criminal Investigation, along with the Justice Department, realizes the negative consequences employment tax evasion has on the solvency of the United States government,” stated Special Agent-in-Charge Robnett. “However, this type of evasion also results in the loss of future Social Security and Medicare benefits for the employees of Soupman Inc. as well.”
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted of the offense, Bertrand faces a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Division. Assistant United States Attorney Kaitlin T. Farrell is in charge of the prosecution.
Robert N. Bertrand
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-186 (RRM)