Federal authorities said they have no plans to shut down three local restaurants whose owners were indicted Monday on federal charges related to tax evasion and money smuggling.
Armed agents from U.S. Homeland Security, Border Patrol and other federal agencies swarmed the Gonos family’s $671,000 Crosstree Lane home in Sandusky Monday morning. Five of the family members were later booked into the Lucas County jail on charges of conspiracy to structure financial transactions to evade filing currency transaction reports and conspiracy to structure financial transactions to evade filing Form 8300.
Those indicted are Haralambos Gonos, 52; Andreas Gonos, 28; Chris Gonos, 31; Kryiakos Gonos, 30; and Sofia Skoura, 52. All five posted bond just hours after they were indicted.
Haralambos and Skoura posted $100,000 apiece, while Andreas, Chris and Kryiakos each posted $30,000 bond.
The Register made several attempts to get the family’s side of the story Tuesday, but Haralambos’ 17-year-old son said he doesn’t think his father wants to talk.
The family owns the Dianna’s Deli restaurants in Perkins Township and Port Clinton, as well as the Depot Family Restaurant in Sandusky.
They’re accused of making multiple cash deposits of less than $10,000 each, over a period of years, to avoid federal laws that require certain reporting on banking transactions. According to the indictment, filed in U.S. Northern District Court in Toledo, the government is now trying to seize about $1.5 million in assets from the family.
Haralambros and Skoura were also indicted on an additional charge of conspiracy to engage in bulk cash smuggling. When U.S. Customs agents stopped the pair in January at Detroit Metro Airport, they were headed to Amsterdam carrying about $14,800 between the two of them, according to the indictment. Federal law requires travelers inform customs agents if they’re carrying more than $10,000.
The indictment accused the family members of depositing amounts of less than $10,000 into bank accounts from 2007 to 2009, as well as more than 200 deposits at various banks since 2005, totaling more than $1.8 million in cash.