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Three in Gonos family plead guilty

Shawn Foucher • Oct 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Andreas Gonos, 28, Chris Gonos, 31, and Kyriakos Gonos, 30, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to structure financial transactions to evade filing currency transaction reports.

They could each face up to five years in prison when they’re sentenced Feb. 11 in Judge Jeffrey Helmick’s courtroom in the U.S. Northern District Court in Toledo.

Cases are still pending for the other two family members, Haralambos Gonos, 52, and Sofia Skoura, 52.

The Gonos family owns the Diana’s Deli restaurants in Perkins Township and Port Clinton, as well as the Depot Family Restaurant in Sandusky.    

In April, immigration agents raided the family’s $671,000 Crosstree Lane home in Sandusky. All five were indicted on charges stemming from allegations they structured financial transactions to avoid filing required reports.

Haralambos and Skoura were also indicted on an additional count of conspiracy to engage in bulk cash smuggling.

Earlier this year, federal agents stopped the pair at a Detroit airport. They were bound for Amsterdam, and together they were carrying $14,736. By law they were required to notify authorities if they were carrying more than $10,000.

The federal indictment says the family members skimmed cash from the restaurants for personal use.

It says the family members made dozens of transactions from 2007 to 2009, totaling more than $1.8 million, but they failed to report the transactions as required. Essentially, they made multiple deposits under $10,000 to avoid the mandatoryreporting, according to the indictment.

Federal authorities have said the deposits amounted to tax evasion.

While the federal government is also looking to seize hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets from the family, officials said earlier this year there were no plans to shut down the family’s restaurants.

Thursday evening, an employee at Diana’s Deli said she would have one of the Gonos family members call the Register back today to offer comment.

The family members have been out on bond pending their case.

Federal court documents show that Chris Gonos, however, now has special conditions imposed on him because he failed multiple drug tests in recent months and weeks. He tested positive for marijuana use in September and last week, and he tested positive for cocaine in June.

He told court officials “marijuana use has been a part of his life for so long, and stopping has been more difficult than he imagined,” according to court documents. The conditions of his release require him to avoid alcohol use and continue undergoing substance abuse treatment.

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