Local Crime, News, Police/Fire

Peabody roast beef restaurant owner pleads guilty to tax fraud

BOSTON — The Peabody owner of Mike’s Famous Roast Beef & Pizza pleaded guilty late Tuesday in U.S. District Court to tax fraud by failing to report nearly $2 million in revenues.   

Emanuel “Mike” Panousos, 43, was charged with two counts of filing false corporate tax returns.

Authorities said from 2013 through 2015, Panousos skimmed $1.9 million in cash from his North Reading restaurant and failed to report the money to his tax preparer or on the restaurant’s corporate tax returns. As a result, he avoided paying corporate and personal taxes totaling nearly $400,000.

U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock scheduled sentencing for Aug. 15. The charges provide a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater.

Panousos is the son of William and Theodora Panousos, and brother of Konstantinos Panousos, who were sentenced last year for tax evasion and ordered to pay restitution involving income from their restaurant, Giovanni’s Roast Beef & Pizza in Peabody.

They pleaded guilty to skimming cash from the restaurant and failing to report the cash on their tax returns. As a result, they avoided the payment of about $550,000 in taxes.

William, 67; his wife, Theodora, 65; and their son, Konstantinos, 39, were each sentenced by Woodlock to three years of probation, with the first 18 months confined to the city of Peabody, and ordered to pay a fine of $150,000. The judge also ordered restitution of $549,883 to the Internal Revenue Service.

During tax years 2013 through 2015, the Panousoses skimmed approximately $2.8 million in cash receipts from Giovanni’s and did not deposit them into the business’ bank account or report them to their tax preparer. They diverted about $1.5 million of those cash receipts to their own personal use. They used the rest of the cash to pay some of the business’ expenses, including a portion of payments to suppliers and a portion of employees’ salaries. In addition, the defendants failed to report those cash expenses on their tax returns.

More Stories From Peabody