Owner of Medford Pizza Shop Pleads Guilty to Federal Tax Charges
BOSTON – The owner of Pinky’s Famous Pizza in Medford pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with filing tax returns which failed to disclose the cash payroll payments he paid to employees.
Nikita Yanakopulos, 40, pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting in filing false Forms 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, which is used to report income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for May 22, 2018.
Yanakopulos owned and operated Pinky’s from approximately 2000 to 2016. During that period, Yanakopulos paid several employees by check and cash and other employees entirely in cash. Yanakopulos caused his payroll service to file Forms 941 that only included the payroll paid by check. During those years, Yanakopulos made cash payroll payments to his employees totaling approximately $675,000, but failed to report those payments to his payroll service or pay the required withholding amounts to the IRS. He thereby avoided paying FICA, Medicare, and withholding taxes totaling approximately $172,000.
The charge of aiding and assisting the filing of false tax returns provides for a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Lelling’s Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.