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Connecticut restaurant owner pleads guilty to involvement in $2 million tax fraud scheme

Chen was responsible for buying the POS systems and for training the staff on the system, as well as for the accounting and financial records.
Credit: sergign - stock.adobe.com

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A restaurant owner has pleaded guilty to a $2 million tax fraud scheme that took place for several years at the restaurants he owns and operates in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

William Chen, 49, of West Hartford pleaded guilty to two counts of filing a false tax return in front of a federal judge Friday, the United States Attorney District of Connecticut announced.

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"Chen is a part owner of several restaurants, including Ginza Japanese Restaurant in Bloomfield, Ginza Japanese Cuisine in Wethersfield, Kaliubon Ramen in Wethersfield and West Hartford, and Feng Asian Bistro in Hartford and Canton, and Millbury, Massachusetts," according to the state's U.S. Attorney.

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Chen is accused of buying a program for his point-of-sales systems that would delete transactions from the system to create fraudulent sales records. He and his workers would delete the cash transactions to reduce the gross receipts and amount of sales tax collected from around 2013 to 2020, officials said.

Chen was responsible for buying the POS systems and for training the staff on the system, as well as for the accounting and financial records.

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"Chen failed to withhold, account for, and pay to the IRS federal income taxes, Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes (“FICA”), and federal unemployment taxes for multiple employees that he paid, or that he knew were paid, in cash," the state's U.S. Attorney said.

The tax loss that can be attributed to Chen adds up to $2,092,926.94.

The false tax return charges carry a maximum prison term of three years per count. Chen will be sentenced on Oct. 21.

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