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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Monday, December 14, 2015

Owners of Nick’s Roast Beef Charged with Skimming Nearly $6 Million in Cash

BOSTON – The two owners of Nick’s Famous Roast Beef in Beverly, and the wife of one of the owners, were charged in an indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with skimming nearly $6 million in cash receipts from the business over a six year period, and not reporting that cash income on their business or personal tax returns. 

Nicholas Koudanis, 65, of Topsfield, Nicholas Markos, 69, of Lynn, and Eleni Koudanis, 60, were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the IRS and 10 counts of aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns.  Steven Koudanis, 39, the son of Nicholas and Eleni Koudanis, was charged with one count of endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue Laws.

According to the indictment, Nicholas Koudanis and Nicholas Markos own Nick’s Famous Roast Beef in Beverly, which only accepts cash payment.  From 2008 to 2013, Nicholas Koudanis and Markos allegedly skimmed more than $1 million in cash receipts each year which they failed to report on either the corporate tax returns or their personal tax returns, thereby avoiding the payment of nearly $1 million each in personal income taxes during that period.  According to the indictment, the two personally split up the cash receipts every week, determining how much to deposit into the business’s bank account and report on their tax returns, how much to use to pay suppliers and employees, and how much to keep for themselves.  The indictment alleges that Eleni Koudanis had primary responsibility for the book-keeping functions of the business, and also recruited employees, including her son Steven Koudanis, to create false cash register receipts to use in connection with an IRS tax audit of Nick’s Famous Roast Beef.  The true cash register receipts were allegedly destroyed and not provided to the tax preparer who prepared the business and personal tax returns.  According to the indictment, Nicholas and Eleni Koudanis also amassed more than $1.6 million in cash as of December 2014, which they kept in a safe in their home.   

The charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Each tax charge provides a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated February 4, 2016