A federal grand jury in Syracuse, New York, returned an indictment charging the operators of three donut shops with conspiracy to defraud the IRS, tax evasion, and aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon for the Northern District of New York.
According to the indictment, John Zourdos, his wife, Helen Zourdos, and their son, Dimitrios Zourdos, all of Rome, New York, operated three Dippin Donuts stores with locations in Rome and New Hartford. From 2013 to 2017, the defendants allegedly concealed more than $1 million in cash sales from the IRS by depositing cash directly into their personal bank accounts instead of business bank accounts, providing incomplete information to their accountant, and causing their accountant to file false individual and corporate tax returns with the IRS. The indictment further alleges that the defendants committed employment tax fraud by paying employees some wages “off the books” in cash.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and each count of tax evasion, and three years in prison for each false return charge. The defendants also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and Acting U.S. Attorney Bacon commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation. They also thanked Assistant Chief John Kane and Trial Attorney Kimberly Ang of the Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Perry who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.