A Maryland restaurateur and owner of a property management company pleaded guilty Monday to willfully failing to pay more than $1.7 million in taxes withheld from his workers’ paychecks, according to the United States Attorneys’ Office for the District of Maryland.
Francesco Illiano, 62, of Mount Airy, had been accused in federal court of withholding taxes from the wages of more than 100 workers employed at his three companies. Illiano failed to pay his employees’ income, Social Security and Medicare taxes to the IRS from about April 2014 through at least July 2016, the attorneys’ office said in a statement.
Illiano’s property management company, the Illiano Group, operates multiple establishments in Carroll County, including New York J&P Pizza on East Ridgeville Boulevard, the Mount Airy Inn on Main Street and the Twin Arch Tavern on Twin Arch Road, all located within two miles of each other.
Robert Bonsib, an attorney for Illiano, was not immediately available to respond Tuesday evening, but told the Frederick News-Post on Monday, “This was an unfortunate incident that occurred many years ago, and since then, he has been compliant with all applicable laws.”
Illiano was previously issued a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty by the IRS for failing to pay more than $1.4 million in taxes that were withheld from employees of five Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille restaurants he owned in 2011 and 2012, according to court documents.
Between April 2011 and July 2016, Illiano caused a total tax loss of about $1.7 million to the tax agency, according to a press release from the attorneys’ office.
He faces a maximum of five years in federal prison at his next sentencing date, scheduled for March 6, 2024.