Dianna's and The Depot remain open

Five Gonos family members bond out
Apr 10, 2013

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. 

Michael Tobin, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said investigators have no plans to close down any of the restaurants owned by the family. 
As of Tuesday, both Diana’s Deli restaurants and the Depot Family Restaurant were still open for business. 



They have nothing over the man who owns RT 250 in Perkins.



Were you alluding to drug comments or the money comments? In either case I do feel that you should present your evidence to the proper authorities.

If you do not have any proof then that is just gossip and rumors which are very irresponsible , inflammatory and also very immature


I know of what I speak of because I have seen it first hand. You, anthras, must know whom I speak of because I didn't name anyone. I know how money works. And it's both drugs and money + corruption.

Edit: PS. It's also a safety issue. Not only for employees and contractors, but for tourists as well.


If reporting of deposits doesn't happen under $10,000, how did the government know about the deposits?


If reporting of deposits doesn't happen under $10,000, how did the government know about the deposits?

BW1's picture

They audit bank records looking for patterns. When it comes to your money, the Fourth Amendment is what the FBI uses to wipe their backsides.

Mr Kilbourne

Not really. All of the Currency Transaction Report (CTRs) are sent to the IRS from the bank. The Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act requires all banks to do this.

There are also Monetary Instrument Logs (MIL) that they will use to catch. Regardless of what you try to do, the government will know with a combination of these tools.

Mr Kilbourne

Banks are required to file suspicious activity reports (SAR)regardless of the dollar amount about transactions "that are or appear to be suspicious".

Source FinCEN.gov


Thank you! I've been saying all along that FinCen Form 105 is where they are being dinged for having cash at the airport.


Greeks are known to raise the finest sheep and goats in the world.


Gee Bob, sounds like you're looking for a girlfriend. ;)

The Big Dog's back



The bank probably alerted the IRS, they are trained to spot and tell on these things.


It was something like 200 deposits over a period of years. I know I have made over 200 deposits of less than $10,000 over the last few years. Am I guilty too? I think someone is trying to railroad this family and get them in trouble. I frankly don't think they did anything wrong.

Think Deeper

If you pay your taxes why shouldn't they have to pay theirs?


Why would anyone want to railroad an entire family? There has to be more to this story!


I agree. There's GOT to be more to this story! How does making deposits under $10,000 necessarily equate to "tax evasion?" If they did, indeed, do things they shouldn't do to avoid paying taxes, then I'm all for prosecution and payment. But this nonsense about making deposits is just that.

Meanwhile, I deplore the very notion that bank employees would report somebody for making perfectly legal deposits based on the hint of a suspicion or even less. Oh, I don't blame the folks working at the bank. The government has them over a barrel on that one because they face some pretty serious repercussions themselves if they FAIL to report such suspicions.

Meanwhile, I make deposits and withdrawals under $10,000 all the time (I only WISH I could make deposits larger than that!). So does that make ME guilty of something 'til proved innocent, too? Financial and tax laws are now SO complex and frequently contradictory that any one of us could find ourselves in a comparable situation whether we did anything wrong or not. And THAT'S where MY problem with this whole thing lies!


Its not really that complex. When someone constantly makes deposits just under $10,000, they are attempting to avoid the govt. Its not that the deposits are under $10,000, its that they are consistent and JUST under $10,000 that raises suspicion.
Also, bank employees are required to report anything that seems suspicious. Clearly the Feds feel there is something worth moving on here, if they went to all this trouble already.

BW1's picture

Structuring charges don't require any intent to evade taxes or commit any other offense. Wanting the government to keep its nose out of your affairs is now a crime. The banks are more than willing to violate your privacy rights in order to cozy up to their bailout sugar daddy.


Yesterday it said deposits ranging 3-9.5k were made over a few years time. 3k is not even close to being just under 10k. Business owners generally deposit their cash and check sales daily. Of course they would have multiple deposits under 10k!

Mr Kilbourne

Into a BUSINESS account. Not personal. And the deposits wouldn't be structured.

BW1's picture

"Structured" just means a pattern is observed. It's a crime to value privacy.


There are three separate businesses! Who said they were being deposited into their personal accounts? And as long as they are keeping proper books to report income to the IRS, what difference does it make whether the money is deposited into their personal accounts or a business account? I use money out of my personal account for business transactions all the time. I just keep a receipt and submit it to our bookkeeper!


Who said they aren't paying their taxes? Tax evasion isnt one of the charges they have been indicted for.

Mr Kilbourne

You're not guilty of anything if you're not trying to get around the reporting, which you can't do anyways. Taxes are a totally separate issue. If you're try to hide income from the IRS, then yes, you are doing something wrong.

BW1's picture

No, you're doing something illegal. It's not the same thing.


Man they must sell alot of sandwiches


a question regarding the above statement (statement re-posted below): does the reporting have to be based on a per person amount or couple? it seems to me the times i went through customs they asked each of us individually not as a family.

"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."


It's individually and as a business Mikel. I went to Cancun recently and you have to fill out a form on the plane before you even land and it asks about what you're declaring and one of the questions is if you're carrying more than $10,000 in cash. I know I went with a group and the person sponsoring wanted to take their merchandise to sell in Cancun and wasn't able to because of this clause in the customs form.


just what i thought. so, apparently, even though they had $14k between them one must have had more than the $10k otherwise this would not be a problem right?

just trying to figure this "smuggling" thing out.