SF restaurateur convicted of failing to pay millions in taxes
City of the Bay News Service
SAN FRANCISCO – A judge on Wednesday convicted a San Francisco restaurant owner in a five-year program that involved up to $ 7.5 million in sales and $ 2.9 million in wages, which were not reported to state authorities, prosecutors said.
Chaturonk Ngamary Jr. is the owner of several Thai Original BBQ restaurants, located in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Prosecutors allege that Ngamary Jr., his father Chaturonk Ngamary Sr. and the owner of a separate original Thai barbecue restaurant, Sanjutha Hantanachaikul, all collectively conspired between 2011 and 2016 to evade payment of sales tax to the California department tax administration and fees. In addition, the trio escaped payment of social security contributions and workers’ compensation insurance premiums to the state’s Department of Employment Development.
In December 2019, prosecutors charged Chaturonk Ngamary Jr. with 57 counts, including robbery. Chaturonk Ngamary Jr. has pleaded guilty to tax evasion, possession of sales suppression software and non-payment of payroll taxes, and enhancing white-collar crime.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Wednesday sentenced Chaturonk Ngamary Jr. to two years in prison. However, his sentence will be suspended if he succeeds in completing two years of probation.
Chaturonk Ngamary Jr. has already paid more than $ 1.5 million in restitution, prosecutors said.
In addition, prosecutors also indicted Chaturonk Ngamary Sr. with 51 counts. Chaturonk Ngamary Sr., however, fled the country and is believed to be in Thailand, prosecutors said.
The third suspect, Hantanachaikul, faced nine charges for his involvement. Last year, she pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax return and was sentenced to three years probation, prosecutors said.
California Attorney General’s Office Rob Bonta initially filed the complaint which led to the charges.
“When a business does not pay taxes and workers’ compensation premiums, it hurts its employees and affects the state’s ability to fund public services for our communities,” Bonta said in a statement. . “As the owner of several restaurants in California, the defendant has breached its obligation to the people of California and its employees. Thank you to all of our partners for working together to investigate and hold the accused in this case accountable. “