Schuette: Orchard Lake Restaurant Sushi Samurai Sentenced in Tax Embezzlement Scheme, Owners Will Pay Almost $1 million in Restitution

Contact: Andrea Bitely, Megan Hawthorne; 517-373-8060

November 30, 2017

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that Sushi Samurai Inc. owned by Christina and Dong Hyun Chang, of Orchard Lake, has been ordered to pay $980,479.59 in restitution and will serve five years probation for embezzling sales tax paid by customers and underreporting their income at their restaurant Sushi Samurai.

“I am pleased to see these individuals and their company taking responsibility for their actions,” said Schuette. “This case should serve as an example to others that breaking the law for personal gain has consequences.  I want to thank the Department of Treasury for their efforts on this case.”

The restaurant entered a guilty plea in October.

Owners Dong and Christina Chang pleaded guilty earlier this month to two counts each, one count of filing false monthly sales tax returns and one count of filing false joint income tax returns. They will be sentenced on Dec 15, 2017.

Mr. and Mrs. Chang will be making restitution on behalf of their restaurant. Restitution payments may be made in monthly increments of $7,500.

CASE BACKGROUND

The Changs were charged after a joint investigation by the Department of Attorney General and the Department of Treasury into whether the restaurant was using an illegal Point of Sale (POS) sales suppression software.

During the investigation, it was determined that the sales in Sushi Samurai’s records were significantly higher than those reported to the state. The “zapper” software essentially deletes sales from the Point of Sale records.  It was determined that thousands of sales receipts had been deleted.

After further investigation, it was determined that in total the Changs via their business embezzled over $170,000 in sales tax receipts alone. In addition, over $2.5 million in sales were allegedly never reported or accounted for in income tax filings between 2012-2016. The Changs used this money for business and personal expenses.

Mug shot of Chang DongMug shot of Sang Christina

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