Sarasota woman pleads guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States


Date: May 12, 2023


Tampa, FL — United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Madeline Nikolson has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to impede and impair the ability of the Internal Revenue ("IRS") to ascertain and collect personal and corporate income tax revenue. Nikolson faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement and information presented at the plea hearing, Nikolson owned and managed a restaurant in Sarasota. Beginning at least as early as August 2013, she and her partner and co-owner of the restaurant instituted a scheme to defraud the IRS by removing the records of daily cash sales from the point-of-sale registers at the restaurant, leaving the record to consist only of credit card sales. The owners used this falsified record of sales income to submit to tax preparers who prepared both their personal income tax returns and their corporate tax returns for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. As a result, they falsified and removed any reference to approximately $726,105 in sales income from their corporate and personal tax returns for those tax years, resulting in over $100,000 of taxes due and owing on those sums of unreported income.

This case was investigated by the IRS - Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.