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SOCIAL SECURITY LAW: Restaurant Owner Faces $350,000 Fine for Tax Fraud

September 21, 2011

Long Branch- A partner-manager of Sawa Sushi Asian restaurant is facing $ 350,000 fine and potential eight years of imprisonment after pleading guilty to Social Security and tax fraud, according to reports on Wednesday.

According to reports, Peter Wagar, 50, has been a co-owner at Sawa Sushi Asian Restaurant and failed to report correct income tax returns and Social Security documents to his advantage.

Wagar had been a restaurant partner-manager at Sawa restaurant from 2006 to 2009. During such time, he earned approximately $286,317 worth of salary and ownership stake; but declared a lower amount in his income tax returns, reports said.

Reports said Wagar also filed a disability benefit claim at Social Security Administration (SSA), stating that he has glaucoma and visual impairments. He also filed benefit claims for his children. The SSA has given Wagar at least $2,800 monthly allowance since 1997.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the SSA conducted an investigation on his documents and discovered the tax evasion and fraudulent claim violations. The IRS approximately lost $71,923 from Wagar's income while the Social Security lost $56,960.

The federal agencies filed the suit in US District Court in Newark. Wagar pleaded guilty on his charges on Sept. 15 and has faced potential $350,000 fine and eight years of jail time.

The District Court in Newark will release the sentence on December 20.

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