New Canaan man pleads guilty to tax evasion


Date: May 23, 2024


Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Harry T. Chavis, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, announced that Vishal Dhar, of New Canaan, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to tax evasion.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Dhar formed and operated various entities, including Grey Brown, Inc. (a holding company for several restaurants operating under the name “Oaxaca Taqueria”), West Partners, Inc., and NY Cloud Kitchens, LLC. From approximately October 2013 through August 2023, Dhar willfully failed to disclose to the Internal Revenue Service significant income from his business and gifts from family members. Instead of paying his outstanding tax liabilities, Dhar paid off personal and business debts, invested in a new business venture, and paid various personal expenses. In evading his payment of taxes owed, Dhar used financial accounts in the names of entities and other individuals rather than in his own name, paid personal expenses with corporate funds, and omitted significant assets on IRS forms.

In addition, in the bankruptcy case in re Grey Brown Inc., filed in the Southern District of New York, Dhar failed to disclose the receipt of an Employee Retention Credit check in amount of $254,203.01 made payable to Oaxaca Atlantic Avenue, LLC. The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit for certain eligible businesses and tax-exempt organizations that had employees and were affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the 2011 through 2020 tax years, Dhar owes $272,390.07 in back taxes, penalties, and interest. As part of the plea agreement, Dhar has agreed to pay that full amount in restitution.

Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for August 15, at which time Dhar faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. Dhar is released pending sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.