Connecticut Pizza Owner Sentenced to Jail for Filing False Statements

The owner of the Connecticut and New York pizzerias has been sentenced to prison for tax offenses, the US Department of Justice said.

Steven Cioffi, 35, of Trumbull was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 30 days in jail, followed by one year of supervised release, for a federal tax offense.

According to court documents and court statements, Cioffi owned 50% of Nepperhan Restaurants Group, Inc., doing business as ReNapoli Pizza, in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, and Pinocchio Pizza in Pound Ridge, New York.

He also owned 25% of Odell Pizza, Inc., doing business as Amore Cucina and Bar in Stamford, Connecticut. Cioffi’s business partner, Bruno DiFabio, held the other stakes in these entities, as well as in other pizzerias.

Cioffi and DiFabio engaged in a practice whereby cash was withdrawn from the cash register and not deposited into the restaurant’s operating bank account.

The company’s accountant and external accountant used bank records to determine the company’s gross revenue.

When cash was removed from the ledger and not deposited into the company’s bank account, it would not be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

Cioffi and DiFabio also knew that some employees had their wages paid in cash and a number of employees were paid either part or all of their wages “off the books”.

By paying various expenses in cash and “off the books,” Cioffi, DiFabio and others made it easier to manipulate net income reported to the IRS and underpay withholding taxes to the IRS.

The loss to the IRS in income and employment taxes for the 2013 to 2015 tax years attributable to Cioffi’s conduct in this scheme was $ 122,177.59. Judge Bolden ordered Cioffi to make a full restitution.

On September 24, 2018, Cioffi pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in filing a false income tax return.

Cioffi was released on $ 40,000 bail, but is due to report to jail on August 2, 2021.

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