The accountant for the Nifty Fifty’s restaurant chain was indicted Friday by federal prosecutors in Philadelphia on tax evasion charges.
William J. Frio, 58, of Springfield Township, Delaware County was charged with conspiracy to commit tax evasion by operating what prosecutors said was Nifty Fifty’s long-running scheme to avoid paying millions of dollars in personal and employment taxes. Prosecutors said the scheme defrauded the Internal Revenue Service by failing to properly account for more than $15 million in gross receipts. Frio is also charged with filing his own false tax returns, aggravated structuring of financial transactions, and loan fraud.
Frio is an accountant and income tax preparer who provided those services to Nifty Fifty’s organization since 1986. According to the indictment, Frio conspired and agreed with the owners and principals of Nifty Fifty’s, all of whom have been charged separately, in a scheme to use skimmed cash to pay themselves and people and businesses who supplied products and services to the restaurants — and help those people and businesses evading paying taxes.
The indictment also alleges that in 2008, Frio submitted a false loan application to Sovereign Bank for a $417,000 residential mortgage. He allegedly submitted to the bank bogus federal income tax returns for 2006 and 2007, and bogus Forms W-2, falsely representing he had earned substantial income from Tanfasia, Inc. In reality, Frio knew he had actually earned much less than what he submitted and he was never employed by Tanfasia.
This story is reported through a news-sharing partnership between NBC10.com and The Philadelphia Business Journal.