Crown Fried Chicken Manager Charged in Tax Fraud Scheme

A manager of two Boston-area restaurants was charged last month in federal court in Boston with tax fraud.

Burhan Ud Din, 48, of Watertown, was indicted on one count of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and 12 counts of failing to withhold and pay employee taxes to the IRS. Two of Din’s co-conspirators, Hazrat Khan, 57, of Middletown, NY, and Khurshed Iqbal, 57, both Pakistani nationals, were charged in an April 2017 18-count superseding indictment with conspiracy and willful failure to pay over taxes. Khan previously pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later this year. Iqbal’s whereabouts are unknown.

According to the indictment, Din and his co-conspirators defrauded the government and avoided paying payroll and income taxes owed by Crown Fried Chicken in Chelsea and Kennedy Fried Chicken in Boston. The indictment alleges that Din, Khan, and Iqbal took steps to conceal Khan’s ownership interests in one of the stores, and that Din provided the tax preparer for both stores with false information about the restaurants’ payroll and income, causing the tax preparer to file false tax returns.

Federal law requires employers to withhold payroll taxes and then pay them to the IRS. To avoid paying taxes, Din, Khan, and Iqbal are alleged to have falsely reported the number of employees—some of whom were undocumented workers—and wages paid to the IRS. They are also alleged to have paid employees under the table and filed income tax returns that falsely described the sales, total income, compensation of officers, salaries and wages, and taxable income for the Chelsea and Boston stores.

The charge of conspiracy to defraud the IRS provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 and restitution. The tax charges against Din provide for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $10,000, restitution, and payment of the costs of prosecution. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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