Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Would You Like Your Philly Cheesesteak With or Without Prison Time

According to Law360, Federal prosecutors asked a Philadelphia judge to give the father-son duo who owned the iconic Tony Luke's cheesesteak restaurant more than two years in prison each and order them to pay $1.3 million in combined restitution after they pled guilty to defrauding the government through an $8 million tax evasion scheme.

On May 19, 2023, U.S. District Judge Gerald A. McHugh received the government's sentencing submission for Tony Luke's founder Anthony Lucidonio Sr., 84, and his son, Nicholas Lucidonio, 57, about a year after they pled guilty to the first count of the 24-count indictment that initially charged them in 2020.

"Defendants' willingness to baldly deny the full scope of their criminal conduct, and defendant Nicholas Lucidonio's brazen willingness to speciously contest his role in the criminal scheme to evade both income and payroll taxes is astounding," the memorandum reads.

Prosecutors accused the Lucidonios of various crimes related to the business' payroll and income taxes. 

"Despite committing tax evasion for the better part of two decades, and despite their own accounting records which show skimmed sales approximating $8 million, concealed net profits in the millions, and a tax loss of at least $1.3 million, defendants would have this court believe the harm they caused to the United States Treasury for which they are responsible is just $286,000 over the decade charged in the indictment," the memorandum reads.

In total, the government determined Tony Luke's failed to pay $486,142 of payroll taxes and $834,900 of income taxes while the Lucidonios argue it was just $286,000 in payroll taxes and $424,535 in income taxes that was lost.

The memo also says the sentencing guidelines suggest 30-37 months for Nicolas Lucidonio and 37-46 months for Anthony Lucidonio if they accept responsibility for their crimes.

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