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Bouraxis family sentenced in tax conspiracy

FRANKLIN —  Officials with the United States Attorney’s Office have announced the Bouraxis family has been sentenced. The family was accused of conspiring to defraud the IRS in connection with their operation of restaurants — including Omega Burger, El Fuego and El Beso.

El Fuego

El Fuego

Paul Bouraxis, his wife Freida Bouraxis and their son, Andreas Bouraxis and son-in-law, Reiad “Ray” Awadallah were sentenced in federal court Friday, November 18th for federal tax offenses.

Previously, Paul, Freida, and Andreas Bouraxis pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, by skimming cash from various restaurants they operated in the Milwaukee area, failing to report substantial income on their personal income tax returns, paying employees under the table in cash, and failing to pay federal payroll taxes on those cash wages.

El Fuego

El Fuego

As part of this scheme the defendants skimmed more than $3 million form their businesses and underreported and underpaid federal income and payroll taxes by approximately $1.4 million. Paul Bouraxis also pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. Awadallah pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false federal return based on his failure to report cash he was paid under the table as a general manager of one of the Bouraxis’ restaurants. Paul Bouraxis was sentenced to two years in federal prison.

Andreas Bouraxis was sentenced to 1 year and one day in prison. Freida Bouraxis and Awadallah were each sentenced to three years of probation, during which they will spend 6 months in home confinement.

El Beso

El Beso

Paul, Freida, and Andreas Bouraxis were also ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution, which will be collected from funds the IRS seized from the defendants’ businesses and safe deposit boxes. The defendants agreed to forfeit an additional $442,000 of the seized funds to the United States to settle a related civil forfeiture action.

Federal agents also seized gold and silver coins and bars, as well as jewelry, from the defendants’ business and Paul and Freida’s residence. Virtually all of these items will be sold and the proceeds paid to the IRS to cover penalties and interest on the taxes the defendants attempted to evade. Finally, Paul Bouraxis will assist in transferring funds held in a bank account in Greece to the IRS. Separately, Awadallah paid approximately $40,000 to the IRS for the taxes he underpaid, as well as penalties and interest.

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