Former CFO of Claddagh Irish Pubs Parent Company Charged with Defrauding States Out of More Than $1 Million in Sales Tax Revenue
CLEVELAND - First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that the former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of CDG Acquisition, LLC (CDG), a company registered in the State of Ohio, which owned “The Claddagh Irish Pubs” chain of restaurants, was charged with defrauding multiple states of sales tax revenue where the restaurant chain operated.
Ciaran Dillon, 56, of Solon, Ohio, was named in the indictment and officially charged with two counts of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, from January 2010 through May 2018, the defendant, acting in his official capacity as CFO of CDG, directed a company accountant to pay certain states less sales tax than the true amount owed. The indictment states that based on the defendant’s instruction, the accountant would edit the company's sales and sales tax figures, file false tax returns and pay states the amount instructed by the defendant.
It is alleged that one common way to underpay sales tax was for the company to report and pay sales tax for four weeks during a five-week period, leading CDG to collect a week’s worth of sales taxes that were omitted from state sales tax filings.
In total, it is alleged that during this time, the defendant defrauded the States of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin out of more than $1 million in sales tax revenue collected from CDG customers across fifteen restaurants.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, a sentence will be determined by the court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offenses and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum; in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
This case was investigated by the Cleveland FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alejandro A. Abreu.