(WFRV) – A 42-year-old Appleton restaurant owner is being charged with violating federal tax laws and depositing money into a personal account.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Richard G. Frohling announced the federal grand jury’s indictment of Appleton resident Paul Vanderlinden on April 13.
The indictment alleges that Vanderlinden, owner and operator of Muncheez Pizzeria in Appleton, skimmed approximately $800,000 from his business’s receipts between 2012 and 2016.
According to the indictment, most of these receipts were deposited into Vanderlinden’s personal bank account, and he failed to report or pay taxes on this income. Vanderlinden is charged with four counts of filing false individual tax returns for calendar years 2012 through 2015.
“Employers have a responsibility to their employees to withhold the proper amount of taxes and pay those taxes over to the IRS. When employers fail to do so, it affects revenue to the United States government, but more importantly, it affects their employees Medicare and Social Security benefits,” says IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Tamera Cantu, Chicago Field Office.
The indictment further alleges that Vanderlinden used a large portion of these receipts to pay cash wages to his employees. Federal law requires employers to collect payroll taxes, and Vanderlinden is charged with failing to withhold and pay over the payroll taxes associated with these cash wages from the first quarter of 2014 through the fourth quarter of 2016.
Acting U.S. Attorney Frohling states, “As we approach the tax filing deadline, those who would seek to defraud the United States and cheat their hard-working fellow taxpayers should think twice. The Department of Justice and IRS-CI are fully committed to holding those who file false returns or seek to cheat on their taxes fully accountable for their criminal conduct.”
Authorities remind the public that an indictment is only a charging document and is not evidence of guilt.