Lake Murray Cafe in La Mesa, now closed, was one of the San Diego Home Cooking chain restaurants. Image via Google Maps

An April 2 sentencing date is scheduled for the manager of the San Diego Home Cooking restaurant chain, who pleaded guilty to a federal employment tax fraud charge for failing to make tax payments over a period of several years.

Aleksandar Sreckovic admitted Wednesday in San Diego federal court that he didn’t file employment tax returns or pay employment taxes for the chain from the last quarter of 2014 through 2017, according to the Department of Justice, which said the tax loss associated with the fraud totaled more than $1.5 million.

The restaurant group included more than 110 employees and five restaurants in the county: Cafe 56 & Bar and Mission Valley Cafe & Bar in San Diego, Lake Murray Cafe in La Mesa, Lakeside Cafe in Lakeside, and Centre City Cafe in Escondido.

“Sreckovic had significant control over the finances of the company and had a duty to account for and pay over the employment taxes on behalf of the company’s employees to the IRS,” according to a DOJ statement, which said that rather than paying the taxes, he paid other creditors and spent money on personal expenses.

Sreckovic, who faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison, has agreed to pay more than $2.2 million in restitution, interest and penalties to the IRS, according to the DOJ.

— City News Service

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