The co-owner of a chain of pizza restaurants in Westchester and Fairfield counties was sentenced to 30 days in prison and one year of supervised release for a federal tax offense.
Trumbull resident Steven Cioffi owned 50% of Nepperhan Restaurants Group Inc., which operated RéNapoli Pizza in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, and Pinocchio Pizza in Pound Ridge, New York. He also owned 25% of Odell Pizza Inc., which operated Amore Cucina and Bar in Stamford, Connecticut.
Cioffi’s business partner, Bruno DiFabio, owned the other interests in these businesses. According to the court charges, between 2013 and 2015 the pair would remove money from their restaurants’ cash registers and not deposit the funds in their business bank account. The funds were not reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
Furthermore, the businesses paid certain employees in an off-the-books cash transaction that also skirted their tax responsibilities. The IRS determined this conduct resulted in $122,177.59 in unpaid taxes.
Cioffi pleaded guilty in September 2018 to one count of aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return. He was released on a $40,000 bond and is required to report to prison on Aug. 2.
DiFabio pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to file false income tax returns and payroll tax returns in October 2018, while their bookkeeper Idalecia Lopes Santos pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion in June 2019. James Guerra, the businesses’ accountant, pleaded guilty to one count of willful failure to collect and pay over withholding taxes in January.
DiFabio and Guerra await sentencing, while Lopes Santos was sentenced last month to three years of probation. Cioffi and DiFabio were ordered by the court to make a full restitution of their unpaid taxes.
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