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Press Release

Wilmington, Delaware, Restaurateur Admits Giving IRS Officer $30,000

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

WILMINGTON, Del. – A New Castle County, Delaware, man admitted today that he paid an illegal gratuity to an IRS official, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, District of New Jersey, announced.


Domenico Procope, 48, of Hockessin, Delaware, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark in Wilmington federal court to a superseding information charging him with one count of providing something of value to a government official in exchange for an official act.


According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:


Procope is the owner of several restaurants in Wilmington and Bear, Delaware. Beginning in 2010, he began accumulating significant business-related and personal income tax liability, and by February 2016, the IRS sought to collect more than $400,000 from him. In an attempt to alleviate his tax liabilities, Procope offered to pay an IRS officer assigned to his tax case to resolve the majority of his tax liability. During multiple recorded conversations with the officer, Procope offered the officer $30,000 in exchange for a reduction in his tax liability. On Feb. 25, 2016, Procope gave the officer $30,000 in cash.


The count of giving an illegal gratuity to a public official carries a maximum potential penalty of two years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for April 25, 2018.


U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited the U.S. Department of Treasury, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, under the direction of Inspector General J. Russell George, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.


The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Fabiana Pierre-Louis and Karen D. Stringer, District of New Jersey. The U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey is handling the case because of the recusal of the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of Delaware.

Updated January 16, 2018

Press Release Number: 18-014