Sawa Owners Sentenced For Payroll Tax, Social Security Fraud

December 9, 2011
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NEWARK — Two Monmouth County men, brothers-in-law who ran two area Asian restaurants, were sentenced last week in federal court on charges of failing to pay payroll taxes and for their involvement in hiring and harboring illegal aliens, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Mou Chor Tung, who also goes by “Kenny Tung,” a 45-year-old Colts Neck resident, was sentenced to 20 months in prison; Sin Ching Chang, also known as “Alton Chang,” 35, Long Branch, Tung’s brother-in-law and business partner, got two years probation, when the two appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Claire C. Cecchi on Nov. 30, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said last week.

Cecchi also sentenced Tung to a two-year supervised released and fined him $10,000. For Chang the fine was $3,000.

Tung was the owner and manager of Sawa 1, an Asian and sushi restaurant in Eatontown, while Chang owned and operated Sawa 2, at the Pier Village shopping development in Long Branch. Authorities had alleged, and the two men eventually admitted in court, that they were responsible for the businesses’ bookkeeping, including collecting and paying to the IRS restaurant employees’ contribution to Social Security, Medicare and income taxes, the traditional employee obligations for payroll taxes. But, from 2007 through 2010, authorities said, Tung did not collect from or forward to federal agencies about $263,523. Chang, for 2007, failed to make the necessary $57,048 payments, according to the attorney’s office in Newark.

Tung was also obligated to verify the identity and immigration status of his employees, he hired who were in this country illegally; and for some of them he had them use others’ Social Security numbers, the U.S. Attorney said.

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Tung had bought two Long Branch residential properties and would house the undocumented workers there and transport them back and forth to work in a vehicle belonging to the restaurant, according to federal law enforcement officials.



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