Sarasota woman pleads guilty of scamming IRS out of $725K from restaurant income

A Sarasota woman failed to pay over $725,000 in taxes on sales income she made at a restaurant she co-owned, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Florida’s Middle District said in a news release Friday.

After pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and the Internal Revenue Service, Madeline Nikolson faces a maximum of five years in federal prison at a sentencing hearing at a later date, the release said.

Nikolson co-owned a restaurant in Sarasota with her partner. Florida business records show a Madeline Nikolson is associated with 3900 Trios LLC which has the same address as the The Boatyard Waterfront Bar and Grill next to the Stickney Point bridge.

In August 2013, at the earliest, Nikolson and her partner removed daily cash sale records from restaurant registers, leaving only credit card sales, the release said.

That led to falsified records submitted to tax preparers for tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018 on approximately $726,106 in sales income from corporate and personal tax returns for those tax years, the release said.

That meant owing more than $100,000 in taxes from the unreported income, the release said.

Assistant U.S. attorney Jay L. Hoffer prosecuted the case, which the IRS’ criminal investigation unit investigated, the release said.