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Bay Area Japanese Seafood Restaurant Owners Charged With Tax Evasion, Wage Theft

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) -- Three Bay Area restaurant owners have been arraigned of multiple counts of sales tax evasion and labor law violations, including failing to pay employees thousands of dollars in wages, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Friday.

A press statement from Bonta said the three defendants are the owners, operators and the certified public accountant of Kome Japanese Seafood Buffet in Daly City, Tomi Japanese Seafood and Grill in San Jose, and Tomi Japanese Seafood Buffet in Concord.

They were identified as David Tai Leung, 60; Sunny Siukeung Chan, 60; and Wendy Lai Ip, 55. The three defendants were arraigned Thursday in Sacramento Superior Court on 65 counts, including filing a false tax return with intent to evade paying taxes, failure to pay unemployment insurance and training tax, failure to pay disability insurance, failure to collect and pay income tax, and grand theft of labor.

One defendant self-surrendered to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office earlier this week, while the two defendants were remanded into custody on the arrest warrant at the arraignment hearing.

A multi-agency investigation of the three was launched in 2017 and the defendants allegedly stole more than $893,000 in wages from employees, and evaded $287,697 in sales tax and $171,820.55 in employment taxes.

"Thank you to the investigators and attorneys at our partner agencies: the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, the California Department of Industrial Relations, and the Employment Development Department whose hard work shed light on the alleged theft and tax evasion happening in these restaurants, and ultimately led to the apprehension of these defendants," said Bonta in a press statement. "We take our responsibility to protect working people and tax payer money seriously, and look forward to proving these allegations in court."



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