Fourth member of local family who ran roast beef and pizza shop sentenced for federal tax fraud

Court documents call the Panousos’s crimes “the family tradition of defrauding the IRS.”

The owner of Mike’s Famous Roast Beef & Pizza in North Reading was sentenced Tuesday in federal court for failing to report approximately $1.9 million in business receipts. He’s the fourth member of his immediate family to face federal tax fraud charges related to the family business.

Emanuel Panousos, 44, who also goes by Mike, skimmed cash receipts from 2013 to 2015, according to the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office.

Court documents show the business was transferred to Emanuel from his parents, Greek immigrants William and Theodora Panousos, before it was raided by the IRS. The elder Panousoses and their other son, Konstantinos, were sentenced in 2018 for federal tax fraud charges involving another roast beef and pizza shop. Emanuel was the only family member to receive prison time for the charges.

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“He appears to have never questioned the family’s way of doing business (i.e., hiding substantial amounts of income) that were probably brought overseas from Greece,” sentencing documents signed by Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling read. The documents call the Panousos’s crimes “the family tradition of defrauding the IRS.”

Emanuel reportedly avoided paying corporate and personal taxes totaling about $387,180 by not reporting the $1.9 million in cash. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting in filing false corporate tax returns in May.

He was sentenced to serve 21 months in prison and one year of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $7,500 and restitution of $387,180.

The former owner of a different roast beef and pizza shop was sentenced for tax fraud on Oct. 25. Steve Konis, of Giovanni’s Roast Beef and Pizza in Saugus, was sentenced to three months in prison and two years of supervised release.