Steven Cioffi, the co-owner of two pizza restaurant companies operating in Westchester and Fairfield counties, pleaded guilty in federal court in Bridgeport to one count of aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return.
Cioffi, a Stamford resident, owned 50 percent of Nepperhan Restaurants Group Inc., which operates ReNapoli Pizza in Old Greenwich and Pinocchio Pizza in Pound Ridge. He also owned 25 percent of Odell Pizza Inc., which runs Amore Cucina and Bar in Stamford.
According to the charges brought against him, Cioffi and other members of the businesses routinely removed cash from the restaurants’ registers and did not deposit the funds into the restaurants’ operating bank account. The businesses’ outside bookkeeper and accountant used the bank records to determine business gross receipts, and the removed cash was never reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Cioffi also paid certain employees in cash, thus manipulating net income and underpaying withholding taxes. This scheme, which occurred between 2013 and 2015, resulted in the loss of more than $122,000 to the IRS in income taxes and employment taxes.
Cioffi’s offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years, a fine of up to $250,000 and full restitution to the IRS. A sentencing date is not scheduled, and Cioffi is free on a $40,000 bond pending sentencing.