IRS claims Stamford restauranteur cost them $122,177
BRIDGEPORT-Skimming cash off restaurant books and paying employees under the table resulted in a guilty plea from a partner in a restaurant group that operated a pizzeria in Old Greenwich and a bar in Stamford.
Steven Cioffi, 32, of Stamford waived his right to a federal grand jury indictment and pleaded guilty to aiding and abbetting the filing of a false tax return. He faces a maximum prison term of three years, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution of $122,177 to the IRS.
U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden allowed Cioffi released on $40,000 bond pending his sentencing which has not yet been scheduled.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Schmeisser said Cioffi owned 50 percent of Nepperhan Restaurants Group, Inc., which does business as ReNapoli Pizza in Old Greenwich and Pinocchio Pizza in Pound Ridge, N.Y. Cioffi also owns 25 percent of Odell Pizza, Inc. which operates Amore Cucina and Bar in Stamford.
The prosecution claims Cioffi and others engaged in a practice of removing cash from the restaurants’ register and not depositing it in the restaurants’ operating bank accounts. As a result the cash was not reported to the bookkeeper and accountant or the IRS.
Additionally, Schmeisser claimed Cioffi knew certain employees were paid in cahs and off the books, which resulted in an underpayment of withholding taxes to the IRS. .
The IRS claims that from 2013 to 2015 they lost $122,177.59.
The case was developed by the IRS Criminal Investigation division