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GUILTY: Sussex County Diner Owner Failed To Pay Thousands In Taxes, IRS Says

Hampton Diner in Newton
Hampton Diner in Newton Photo Credit: Google Maps (Street View)

The owner of a Sussex County diner admitted in court to evading taxes, authorities announced.

Newton resident Dimitrios Protogeropoulos, 60, pleaded guilty via video conference to one count of personal income tax evasion for the 2016 tax year, according to a release from the IRS.

Protogeropoulos, who owns The Hampton Diner in Newton, admitted to “skimming” a large portion of the restaurant’s cash receipts for personal use, authorities said.

He also paid certain restaurant workers using cash in order to avoid paying personal income taxes.

Protogeropoulos admitted that he neglected to report all of the diner’s earnings for the 2016 tax year, resulting in a tax loss of about $27,802 to the government, the IRS said.

Meanwhile, between 2016 and 2019, Protogeropoulos caused the eatery to fail to report about $1,664,000 in cash payroll to the IRS, resulting in a tax loss of about $604,032.

Protogeropoulos agreed to pay restitution totaling $674,764 and will be sentenced on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

“Today’s guilty plea should send a strong deterrent message to anyone attempting to avoid paying their fair share of taxes,” stated Tammy Tomlins, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office.

“IRS Special Agents and Professional Staff work year-round to protect the integrity of our Nation’s tax system, recommending prosecution against those individuals who disregard the law.”

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