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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pizza Franchise Owner and Nominee Owner Plead Guilty in Tax Fraud Scheme

Two West Bloomfield, Michigan, residents pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, announced the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Arkan Summa, an owner of numerous Happy’s Pizza franchises, pleaded guilty to corruptly endeavoring to obstruct or impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws. Tagrid Summa Bashi, Summa’s sister and a nominee owner, pleaded guilty to willfully delivering false documents to the IRS.

A multiple count indictment was unsealed July 16, 2013 alleging that from approximately June 2004 through April 2011, Summa executed a scheme in which he diverted gross receipts, underreported wages and caused the taxable income and payroll tax information of specific Happy’s Pizza franchises to be underreported to the IRS.

According to the information filed in court, in 2009, Bashi caused false payroll information forms to be submitted to the IRS. Documents filed with the court indicate Summa’s obstruction of the IRS resulted in a tax loss of approximately $199,847, and Bashi caused approximately $55,000 in wages to be underreported to the IRS through her false submission.

For the obstruction charge, Summa faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Bashi faces a statutory maximum sentence of 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for Oct. 23.

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