Salisbury Press

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 by April Peterson apeterson@tnonline.com in Police Log

Local restaurateur allegedly underpaid sales taxes

An Emmaus man faces more than 30 counts of alleged theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received at a well-known area restaurant for more than two years, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by The Press newspapers.

Louis T. Belletieri, 72, of the 1000 block of Arch Street, is charged with allegedly not paying a total of $89,340.87 in sales tax between Sept. 20, 2014 and April 20, 2017, for Louie’s Restaurant, 2071 31st. SW, Salisbury Township, according to court documents.

Louie’s Restaurant is an Italian restaurant and bar. Originally located on Chew Street in Allentown, the restaurant moved to the Salisbury Township location in 2007, according to court documents.

The charges, 32 total, are categorized in court documents as felonies and were calculated through a sales and use tax audit conducted by an auditor in the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue who is a certified public accountant.

Belletieri is described as being at the business six days a week and “in charge at the business.”

In figures provided in court documents, $110,014.14 in sales tax should have been paid in the period from Sept. 20, 2014 to April 20, 2017. The amount reported and paid was allegedly found to be $20,673.27, leaving $89,340.87 unpaid.

In court documents, investigators allege sales tax was paid on bar sales alone and not the total sales of the business, which would include the restaurant.

In a summary of the charges, investigators noted Belleteri, allegedly “continues to claim he did not intentionally underpay the Commonwealth when he submitted the sales tax only from the bar sales and not the total sales from the restaurant.”

Investigators described the amount Belletieri paid as “a fraction of the total sales of the restaurant and not enough to run his restaurant,” a fact Belletieri would have known, investigators stated.

According to investigators, Belletieri also allegedly did not report to the Department of Revenue sales tax figures from his own reports along with other discrepancies.

In addition to restaurant and bar fare, the business also is said by investigators to sell specialty items such as T-shirts and food items such as sauces and salad dressings listed on the restaurant website.

According to court documents, an employer withholding tax audit was conducted as well and “no potential deficiency” was found.

Louie’s Restaurant is in a rented property, according to court documents.

Belletieri posted $10,000 unsecured bail following an arraignment Sept. 18.

The full name of Louie’s Restaurant as it appears in court documents is “1207 Corporation, Inc. t/a Louie’s Restaurant.”