Ex-owner of Ziggies restaurants pleads guilty after failing to pay more than $1.3 million in payroll taxes

By Staff Writer | Jan 24, 2016 06:08 AM EST

Agim Zendeli has pleaded guilty as he has failed to pay more than $1.3 million in payroll taxes. The former owner of Ziggies restaurants in Missouri and Kansas waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty to charges filed by prosecutors for failure to send the IRS the payroll taxes that he collected from his employees.

According to News-Leader, the ex- owner of  Ziggies cafe in Springfield and the surrounding region pleaded guilty on Wednesday as he failed to pay more than $1.3 million in federal payroll taxes over a decade. During the 10 years time, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri claimed that the former owner of the restaurants purchased at least 10 luxury vehicles.

Agim Zendeli waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty to information that charged him with failure to shell out the IRS payroll taxes he collected from his employees, according to a statement release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

Fox2Now claimed that the 43-year old entrepreneur of Springfield admitted he didn't pay off the taxes collected from his restaurants' employees to the Internal Revenue Service starting from March 2004 to December 2014. Zendeli managed the Ziggies restaurants in Springfield, Joplin, Carthage, Nevada, Republic, Willard, Marshfield, West Plains, Rolla and Poplar Bluff in Missouri, and in Pittsburgh and Fort Scott in Kansas from 1998 to 2014.

Beginning from 2004 through 2014, Zendeli transferred the huge sums of money from the restaurant companies that he owned and operated.  Zendeli lived a lavish lifestyle, and spent his money on grand vacations, gambling trips, entertainment and luxury vehicles, including three BMWs, two Cadillac Escalades, two Infiniti QX56s, a 2009 Mercedes, a 2008 Acura and a 2004 Land Rover.

The prosecutors then noted that Zendeli exploited the money for the tax just to support his very lavish lifestyle. And to evade paying past due taxes, the ex-owner made up 18 different companies and took over his restaurant operations using the names of family members, partners, as well as employees.

The total tax loss after his lavish lifestyle totals $1,330,708, which includes $741,099 in payroll taxes that he deducted from his employees' salary. In addition, he also controlled the required employer's contributions to Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes, as reported by KY3.

In the meantime, under the terms of the plea conformity, Zendeli must have to shell out to the government $1,330,708 in restitution and statutory interest. A sentencing hearing will be set following the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.Plus he must also face a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole and a fine up to $250,000.

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