Restaurant Owner Sentenced For Tax Fraud In Philadelphia

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the two owners of a well-known cheesesteak restaurant in Philadelphia have been sentenced to 20 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Their sentence comes after they were found guilty of tax fraud spanning over a decade.

According to a press release, Nicholas Lucidonio, 57, and Anthony Lucidonio Sr., 84, from New Jersey, allegedly did not report over $8 million in cash receipts during their ownership of Tony Luke’s in South Philadelphia from 2006 to 2016.

The owners allegedly deposited only a portion of the cash they received at Tony Luke’s into their business bank account, while also providing falsified information to their accountant, according to the DOJ. As a result, tax filings for Tony Luke’s were significantly underreported.

The Lucidonios were involved in employment tax fraud for a decade, where they paid employees in cash and underreported their wages to avoid being caught, according to a press release.

In 2015, the Lucidonios found themselves in a dispute over Tony Luke’s franchising rights. This led them to make changes to their business’ tax return from the previous year, all the while concealing their payroll tax fraud scheme, according to the DOJ.

According to the release, the Lucidonios allegedly defrauded the United States out of a significant sum of $1,321,042.

The case was handled by the IRS Criminal Investigation. Acting Section Chief John Kane of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney and Criminal Division Chief Richard Barrett for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania are handling the case.