Restaurant owner of Bridgeport admits to filing false tax returns

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — A Trumbull woman who owns a seafood restaurant in Bridgeport pled guilty yesterday in federal court to filing false tax returns.

Maria Pinheiro, 57-years-old, who owns and operates the Dolphin’s Cove Marina, (DCM), waived her right to indictment in Bridgeport and will be sentenced in New Haven on June 15. She faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to $100,000. Pinheiro has also agreed to pay $243,956.98 in back taxes, interest and penalties.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2007 through 2009, Pinheiro was the sole shareholder and bookkeeper for DCM, and she handled all of the DCM finances. In pleading guilty, Pinheiro admitted that instead of depositing all of the cash receipts from DCM into the DCM business checking account, she deposited substantial amounts of cash from business into her personal checking account. She then failed to provide her personal bank records to the firms that prepared the federal income tax returns for her and DCM.

Between 2007 and 2009, Pinheiro deposited $352,437 in cash that DCM received into her personal bank account. Some of deposits were structured in amounts of less than $10,001 in order to evade her bank’s currency transaction reporting requirements. Pinheiro caused the filing of false personal and corporate tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of $92,251.


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