Restaurant Owner Sentenced for Filing False Tax Returns

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Bridgeport, Conn. (WTNH) – The owner of a seafood restaurant has been sentenced to two month in prison for filing false tax returns.

Court documents reveal that 58-year-old Maria Pinheiro was the sole shareholder and bookkeeper for Dolphin’s Cove Marina, a seafood restaurant. The District Attorney’s public information office says that Pinheiro started depositing substantial amounts of cash from the business into her personal checking account instead of depositing the cash receipts from the restaurant into the business checking account.   She then failed to provide her personal bank records to the firms that prepared the federal income tax returns for her and the Dolphin’s Cove Marina.

Court documents reveal that between the years 2007 and 2009, Pinheiro deposited $352,437 in cash that the restaurant 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.

Pinheiro pleaded guilty to to one count of filing a false tax return. As part of her plea agreement, she agreed to pay back taxes, interest and penalties in the total amount of $243,956.98, which she paid in full today.

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