SoMa Thai restaurant serves up tax evasion

A South of Market Thai restaurant earned a delicious 4-of-5 stars from 66 patrons on Yelp – but tax evasion may have been part of its menu for success in recent years.

Owner Chef Suriya Srithong, 59, is facing a possible three-year prison term after pleading guilty in federal court Wednesday to two counts of filing false income tax returns in 2005 and 2006, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

The chef was indicted on April 13 for knowingly failing to report earnings from the Suriya Thai Restaurant. He reported no gross receipts, expenses, net income or taxes related to the restaurant in the two years.

“He also failed to account for and pay over employment taxes related to the operation of the restaurant,” the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2011, before U.S. District Court Judge Maxine Chesney. The maximum penalty for filing a false tax return is three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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