Tax laws

Appleton restaurant owner pleads guilty to violating tax laws and ‘skimmed’ $800,000

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The owner and operator of a pizzeria in Appleton has pleaded guilty to violating federal tax laws by skimming earnings to pay employees “under the table.”

Court filings show that Paul Vanderlinden, 42, pleaded guilty to violating federal tax laws. He pleaded guilty to willfully filing a false tax return and failing to report and faithfully pay payroll taxes to the IRS.

Vanderlinden is the owner and operator of Muncheez Pizzeria at Appleton. He reportedly took around $800,000 of his company’s revenue between 2012 and 2016. “Large” cash deposits were made into his personal bank account during this time.

He allegedly did not include this income on his tax returns and underreported his gross receipts by at least $130,000 for each tax year. Vanderlinden gave its employees the option of being “paid cash without tax deduction or by check with tax deduction”.

Vanderlinden used much of the skim revenue to pay its employees “under the table”. He failed to withhold and pay more than $88,000 in payroll taxes between 2012 and 2016.

“This case reflects the strong commitment of the Department of Justice and our federal law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who seek to abuse our tax laws,” said U.S. Attorney Richard G. Frohling.

Vanderlinden is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7. Local 5 will update this story as more details are released.