Owner of Cincinnati restaurant chain arrested for tax fraud


Date: May 1, 2023

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Richard Bhoolai, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was indicted for willfully failing to account for or pay over employment taxes. On April 29, 2023, Bhoolai was arrested by Hamilton County Police Department with coordination from IRS-Criminal Investigation.

According to court documents, it is alleged that Richard Bhoolai is the founder, owner, and Chief Executive Officer of Richie's Fast Food Restaurants. The business withheld federal taxes from its employee's paychecks and was required to transmit the taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). From the fourth quarter 2016 and continuing through the fourth quarter of 2018, Richie's Fast Food Restaurant withheld payroll taxes from its employees' paychecks, but failed to file quarterly employment tax returns and failed to transmit to the IRS payroll taxes it collected. As the sole owner, Bhoolai was a "responsible person," that had the responsibility to collect, account for, and pay over Richie's Fast Food Restaurants' payroll taxes to the IRS.

During this period, it is alleged that Bhoolai caused Richie's Fast Food Restaurants to make hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures for his personal benefit, including using business proceeds to engage in gambling activity in excess of $1 million.

Willful failure to collect or pay over tax carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $250,000.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office announced the indictment and arrest.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ebunoluwa A. Taiwo and was investigated by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation.