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NRI Patel, Ex-Burger King Manager sent to jail to Defraud the IRS
180,000 in Cash Skimmed

Cincinnati, Ohio, March 22, 2007
Sudesh Verma

NRI Ashfaque Patel ,52, of Fairfield, Ohio was sentenced 18 months jail and to pay over $50,400 compensation to the internal revenue service (IRS).

Federal prosecutors say Patel was one of several employees who helped Angelo DeSimone steal the money from Greater Cincinnati Burger King restaurants

He pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Between 1996 and 2000, Patel skimmed $180,000 in cash from the Burger King restaurant that he managed and he impeded the IRS in its collection of $50,400 in federal income taxes due on the skimmed receipts. Patel was the final defendant to be prosecuted in this investigation. A total of ten defendants were prosecuted during this investigation.

According to documents filed with the court and testimony, between 1996 and 2000, Ashfaque Patel managed a Burger King restaurant in the local Cincinnati area. RAC, Inc. and/or Desili, Inc., (collectively RAC) owned multiple Burger King restaurants, including the one managed by Patel. Angelo DeSimone was the Managing Director of the Burger King restaurants owned by RAC. During the years in question, DeSimone oversaw seven or eight Burger King restaurants. Patel believed that DeSimone was the owner of the restaurants.

DeSimone supervised the managers of the Burger King restaurants directly or through William Scarborough, the Director of Operations. DeSimone directed the managers, including Patel, to skim a set amount of cash each week from the receipts of their respective Burger King restaurants, and provide the skimmed cash to DeSimone. On a weekly basis, either DeSimone, Scarborough, or a restaurant manager picked up the skimmed cash, or the skimmed cash was transferred to DeSimone by other means. Occasionally, DeSimone instructed the managers, including Patel, to skim an amount of cash in addition to the set weekly amount. To hide labor costs, some managers including Patel, paid certain employees in cash. These cash wage payments were not reported to the IRS.

During 1996 through 2000, Patel skimmed $100 per day, six days per week from his restaurant. Patel and the other managers received a kick-back of funds from DeSimone for skimming cash, or were allowed to skim additional cash for their own benefit. Patel and the other managers covered up the skimming of cash for DeSimone by not ringing sales on the registers, voiding sales that had been rung on the registers, altering monthly sales and inventory reports, and floating deposits with the bank, and by other means.

During the years 1996 through 2000, Patel agreed with DeSimone to carry out the skimming activity and reasonably foresaw that the skimmed cash would not be reported to the IRS.

Cromwell A. Handy, Special Agent in Charge, IRS, Criminal Investigation, stated, "Defrauding and impeding the IRS is not a victimless crime. Honest, hardworking Americans pay the price when others choose to evade their tax obligations."

DeSimone was sentenced to three years in prison in 2004 and ordered to pay $370,000 in restitution. Other employees received sentences ranging from probation to five months in prison.