Tony Luke’s Owners Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud, Concealing Over $8 Million

The owners of the renowned Philadelphia Cheesesteak restaurant, Tony Luke’s, have been sentenced to prison for tax fraud. Nicholas Lucidonio, 57, and Anthony Lucidonio Sr., 84, were each handed a 20-month prison term along with three years of supervised release by the US Department of Justice.

Court documents revealed that the Lucidonios had been concealing over $8 million in cash receipts from the IRS between 2006 and 2016. Instead of depositing the full amount into the restaurant’s business accounts, they only reported a portion of the cash, providing their accountant with incomplete information. Consequently, the accountant unknowingly filed false tax returns.

The Lucidonios were also found guilty of employment tax fraud. They paid their employees “off the books” in cash, ensuring that federal income tax, Social Security, and Medicare taxes were not paid to the IRS. By not reporting the cash wages to their accountant, the duo caused the preparation of false quarterly employment tax returns.

The tax fraud scheme came to light in 2015 during a dispute over Tony Luke’s franchising rights. Fearing exposure, the Lucidonios amended the previous year’s tax returns to show higher reported sales. However, they continued to hide their payroll tax scheme, resulting in a staggering loss of $1,321,042 to the US.

This case serves as a reminder that even successful businesses can fall prey to fraudulent practices. The sentencing of the Lucidonios sends a strong message that tax evasion will not be tolerated. As Tony Luke’s remains a beloved establishment in South Philadelphia, loyal customers are left wondering about the future of their favorite cheesesteak joint.

The repercussions of this tax fraud case extend beyond the restaurant’s reputation. It highlights the importance of transparency and honesty in financial matters, urging businesses to adhere to legal obligations. The US Department of Justice’s relentless pursuit of justice ensures that those who attempt to cheat the system will face the consequences of their actions.

As the Lucidonios begin their prison sentences, the fate of Tony Luke’s hangs in the balance. Will the restaurant be able to recover from this scandal and regain the trust of its patrons? Only time will tell.


Author: CrimeDoor

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