Three in Gonos family plead guilty

Three of five members of a local restaurant family served up their guilty pleas Thursday in a federal case involving tax evasion and international money smuggling.
Shawn Foucher
Oct 18, 2013
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.

Comments

Peninsula Pundit

'The federal indictment says the family members skimmed cash from the restaurants for personal use.'
They own the restaurants.
What do you own restaurants for if you're not going to take money from their operation for your personal use?
That can hardly be called 'skimming.'
And it is an arbitrary law that says certain amount levels of deposits have to be reported by the banks.
If you make deposits less than the arbitrarily derived amount, how is that illegal?
The letter of the law has been met.
Big corporations in this country operate this way as a matter of common practice. GE paid NO TAXES on 5 billion profit last year this way.
This small business, which is the majority of employers in this country, has really done nothing more than break rules arbitrarily concocted by the government. Big business breaks bigger rules, but can employ lawyers equal to any the govt can bring to bear, so the govt picks on the small guy.
That's wrong.
Where's all the con/rep rage from our resident 'free market' types?

The Answer Person

Hmmm someone needs a course in tax law and regulations...

bnjjad

Agreed

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yeswee

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Nemesis

No, it seems he's right on point.
Structuring violations require no proof of intent. There are small businesses that have lost everything because they happen to do about $9K a day in business and deposit the day's receipts. It's nothing but a sham law designed to allow the seizure of peoples' assets without any proof of wrongdoing.

Dwight K.

Good hopefully now no one will have to deal with the one that thinks he's freaking don juan

mimi's word

Don't like the family don't go to eat there. That simple.

Dwight K.

I can like the food but not the people

deertracker

Check out the kitchen!

Dwight K.

If its anything like the bathroom I try not to think about it

meplus5

Their business, their money...No1 should tell them what they can do with it!

looking around

As long as they pay tax on it, no one cares......

SoldOnAcorns

No Soup for you !

caddylackity

Chris also dates Maddison Harris and has been with her since she was underage...sounds like a true winner.

Worrie worrier 01

I have worked at Port Clinton Diannas for many years and they have always treated me good and were all like a family there. I've worked with both Chris and Kouly and they both are very kind people and would do anything for their employees. Yes people say they are hard to work for but isn't that a good thing when running a bissness? And I have also been there to see Chris and Madison they have been together for 2 years who cares about age !??! She's pretty and they are happy that's all that matters! If you honestly dont know them or even her for that matter I think u should keep ur opinions to ur self!

Worrie worrier 01

I have worked at Port Clinton Diannas for many years and they have always treated me good and were all like a family there. I've worked with both Chris and Kouly and they both are very kind people and would do anything for their employees. Yes people say they are hard to work for but isn't that a good thing when running a bissness? And I have also been there to see Chris and Madison they have been together for 2 years who cares about age !??! She's pretty and they are happy that's all that matters! If you honestly dont know them or even her for that matter I think u should keep ur opinions to ur self!

caddylackity

Fact: its illegal...like many other things he has done. Just because he is nice and they have good service doesn't mean they should get away with doing things that are ILLEGAL!

AEversole

They have been unfairly targeted and ut is bull.... they made thevmoney ligitimatly and should be able to do what ever they want..... big companies scam on their taxes as do do most rich people. This is a witch hunt. It is pathetic and ridiculous. This is suppose to be the land of oppertunity.... sure thing. ... its only ok if you mane the right campaign contributions.

oheaglefl

ok, they supposedly had $14,736 between the two when they got stopped. Did one have $10,000 and the other $4736 or divided it is only $7000 each, well under the $10,000 mark. If so, how can they get them on that. We have been going to Diana's deli for many a year and always have gotten good food and plenty of it for the money. We have always been treated nice when we've gone there.

Dwight K.

Dang the family has a pretty long police record