Sandusky family indicted for skimming nearly $2M from eateries - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Greek Sandusky family indicted for skimming nearly $2M

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SANDUSKY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

A Sandusky family has been charged with skimming more than $1.8 million in cash from three restaurants the family operates, and depositing the cash at numerous financial institutions, according to a U.S. attorney.

The five family members who have been indicted on three counts are:

-Haralambos Gonos, 52

-Andreas Gonos, 28

-Chris Gonos, 31

-Kryiakos Gonos, 30

-Sofia Skoura, 52

"These defendants are accused of avoiding bank regulations," said Steven Dettelbach, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The first count in the indictment is for conspiracy to structure financial transactions to evade filing currency transaction reports. Haralambos Gonos, Andreas Gonos, Chris Gonos, and Kryiakos Gonos are accused of taking large amounts of cash from Dianna's Deli, Dianna's and The Depot, and making multiple deposits of cash just under the $10,000 threshold, for the purpose of evading the filing of a Currency Transaction Report. The conduct took place between 2007 and 2009, according to the indictment.

The second count charges that Haralambos Gonos, along with an un-indicted co-conspirator, conspired to structure financial transactions to evade filing Form 8300 between March 2010 and November 2011. Specifically, Gonos purchased a 2007 Mercedes and 2005 Porsche Cayenne by using combinations of cash and multiple cashier's checks, according to the indictment.

The third count charges Haralambos Gonos and Sofia Skoura with conspiring to engage in bulk cash smuggling in an attempt to transport currency to a place outside the U.S. around Jan. 31, 2013. Specifically, they are accused of attempting to transport more than $14,700 to Greece, where they maintain a residence, according to the indictment.

"It is IRS-CI's responsibility when investigating financial institution fraud, to focus on the flow of the money, which ultimately leads us to the beneficiaries of this illegal activity," said Denise Rocawich, acting special agent in charge with IRS Criminal Investigation.

If convicted, the defendants' sentences will be determined by the court, after reviewing factors unique to the case, including the defendants' prior criminal record, the defendants' role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum. In most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are entitled to a fair trial, in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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