ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced Wednesday that the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office charged two Minneapolis restaurant owners with 27 felony counts each.
Sufeng Zheng and her husband Ting Gui Zheng are each charged 26 felony counts of aiding or assisting in the filing of false or fraudulent sales tax returns and one felony count of theft by swindle.
The Zhengs’ associate, Ming Zhu, is charged with eight felony counts of aiding or assisting in the filing of false or fraudulent sales tax returns and one felony count of theft by swindle.
According to complaints, the Zhengs were de facto owners of Teppanyaki Grill & Supreme Buffet, located in Minneapolis and Fridley. Zhu was listed as the on-paper owner of the Fridley location.
During the execution of the search warrant through the Zhengs’ home, the complaints allege investigators found evidence of ghost ownership of the restaurants, double sets of sales reports and instructions and screenshots for the use of sales suppression software.
Department analysts estimate the two restaurants combined may have underpaid more than $810,000 in sales tax.