Ex-owner of Ziggies restaurants pleads guilty to tax fraud

Ex-owner of Ziggies restaurants pleads guilty to tax fraud

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - The former owner of Ziggies restaurants in Missouri and Kansas has pleaded guilty to failing to pay more than $1.3 million in payroll taxes.

During a plea hearing Wednesday in federal court, Agim Zendeli of Springfield admitted he didn't forward payroll taxes collected from employees to the Internal Revenue Service from March 2004 to December 2014.

He operated Ziggies restaurants in Springfield, Joplin, Carthage, Nevada, Republic, Willard, Marshfield, West Plains, Rolla and Poplar Bluff in Missouri, and in Pittsburg and Fort Scott in Kansas from 1998 to 2014.

Prosecutors say Zendell used the money from the scheme to support a lavish lifestyle.

To avoid paying past due taxes, Zendell formed 18 different companies to take over his restaurant operations using the names of family members, partners or employees.

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