For six years Peter Spagnuolo, a lawyer in Westchester County, collected sales taxes on food sold at two restaurants he owned, but he did not file tax returns or remit $380,000 to the state.
On July 5, Spagnuolo, 50, of White Plains, pleaded guilty to petit
larceny in Westchester County Court. His companies, FreshMex LLC and All American Burger LLC, pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud and grand larceny from 2009 to 2015.
The companies did business as the Desert Moon Café and Nathan’s franchises in the food court at Westchester Mall.
Spagnuolo repaid the sales tax and personal state income taxes, according to a news release from District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino Jr.
That makes a difference.
“If you make zero restitution,” district attorney’s spokesman Robert Wolf said, “you are probably going to spend some time in state prison.”
Judge Larry Schwartz sentenced Spagnuolo to one year conditional discharge – basically probation – and sentenced the corporations to three years conditional discharge.
The case was initiated by the New York State Tax Department criminal investigations division and was prosecuted by Nicole Gamble, an assistant district attorney in the economic crimes bureau.
Spagnuolo did not respond to a request for comment on the voicemail at his Mount Kisco law office, and no one answered at his home phone.