WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A West Hartford man has been sentenced to prison for operating an extensive $2 million tax fraud scheme involving restaurants in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

49-year-old William Chen of West Hartford was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison and a year of supervised release, according to the Department of Justice. A judge also ordered Chen to pay a $20,000 fine.

According to court records, Chen was part-owner of several restaurants including Kaliubon Ramen in West Hartford and Wethersfield, Ginza Japanese Restaurant in Bloomfield, Ginza Japanese Cuisine in Wethersfield, and Feng Asian Bistro in Hartford and Canton, and Millbury, Massachusetts.

Court records showed that Chen was responsible for purchasing and using the point-of-sale (POS) system for restaurant orders, but paid an additional fee for a “zapper software” which erases transactions to create fraudulent sales records.

Court documents showed that from 2013 to 2020, Chen and others who worked at the restaurant deleted cash transactions to reduce the gross receipts and amount of sales tax reported by the POS system.

Chen intentionally suppressed the restaurants’ taxable incomes that he disclosed to his accountant who prepared his tax returns. According to court records, Chen was also responsible for collecting and withholding employment taxes at the restaurants’ where he worked, and for signing the restaurants’ tax returns.

According to court documents, Chen failed to withhold, account for and pay the IRS federal income taxes, FICA taxes, and federal unemployment taxes for employees he paid in cash.

According to court records, Chen did not pay $2,092,926.94 he owed in taxes. As of Jan 4, 2023 Chen has paid $600,000 in restitution.

Chen had pleaded guilty to two counts of filing false tax returns in July of 2022 and is required to report to Prison on April 5.