Adel Kellel, 63, of New Hyde Park, New York, the owner of Raffles Bistro, formerly a restaurant located in New York City, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for tax evasion.
According to the allegations contained in the information to which Kellel pled guilty, documents filed in court, and statements made in court:
From 2011 to 2015, Kellel filed false personal returns and corporate returns for K&H, and evaded his taxes by diverting and failing to report substantial gross receipts to the IRS.
For example, as part of his tax evasion scheme, Kellel diverted over 150 hotel checks, totaling over $2.1 million or approximately 43 percent of the Hotel payments K&H received by check, and then hid the gross receipts from his accountants and the IRS by depositing the checks into more than a dozen undisclosed bank accounts. These included personal accounts that Kellel held either individually or jointly with his wife, as well as accounts held in the name of K&H, some of which were opened solely to have an additional place to deposit diverted checks. Kellel also diverted substantial cash income received from Raffles’ customers, a portion of which he deposited into personal bank accounts or spent directly on personal expenses, again, without disclosing to his accountants or paying taxes.
Kellel used the diverted income for personal expenses, including overseas transfers; condominium fees; rent for a high-end Manhattan apartment; college tuition payments for his children; luxury retailers, such as Hugo Boss and Saks Fifth Avenue; Mercedes, Porsche, and Maserati vehicles; and domestic and international travel.
On Jan. 24, 2020, Kellel pled guilty to one count of tax evasion relating to the 2011 to 2015 tax years.
In total, Kellel caused a combined tax loss of at least approximately $771,195 to the IRS and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSDTF). In addition to the sentence of imprisonment, the court ordered Kellel to pay restitution of $613,478 to the IRS and $157,717 to NYSDTF. Kellel was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after completing his jail sentence.
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