The owner of a popular East Boston diner is accused of charging her customers a meals tax that she never reported to the government.
Donna Marquardo, 58, has been charged with 39 counts of failing to pay taxes and filing false tax returns on more than $850,000 in sales between early 2012 to early 2015.
“We’ve been paying taxes for 50 years. This is just a misunderstanding,” said Daniel Marquardo, the owner’s son.
A few months ago, Marquardo said his family learned of a discrepancy in their taxes and have since been cooperating with the investigators looking into the issue. While his parents handle all the financial records, Marquardo contended they have done nothing wrong.
“We do everything by the book. My mother does everything by the book,” Marquardo explained, “Our customers know that. Our family knows that.”
According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, the failure to report sales resulted in approximately $60,000 in unpaid taxes.
While Marquardo appeared in court Wednesday, her hearing was cut short when the judge recused himself because he is related to her husband. Marquardo’s next hearing is scheduled for April.
“To pocket money from our customers for meals tax, it just makes no sense,” her son said, “It’s been done the right way for so many years.”