MANCHESTER, NH – Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and Commissioner Lindsey M. Stepp of the Department of Revenue Administration (“DRA”) announce that yesterday Stylianos “Steve” Asprogiannis, of Bedford, pleaded guilty in Hillsborough Superior Court—Northern District to one felony charge of theft, one felony charge of tax evasion, and one misdemeanor charge of defrauding the Department of Revenue Administration.
Pursuant to the terms of a negotiated plea agreement, on the theft and tax evasion charges, the Court sentenced Mr. Asprogiannis to 3½ to 7 years in the New Hampshire State Prison, with the entirety of the sentence suspended for five years. In addition, Mr. Asprogiannis must perform 200 hours of community service in the next two years, and is prohibited from any ownership or managerial activities in any business that is required by law to have a Meals & Rooms tax license.
Mr. Asprogiannis had already paid restitution in full.
On the defrauding charge, the Court sentenced Mr. Asprogiannis to a 12 month sentence in the Hillsborough County House of Correction, fully suspended for five years and concurrent with the theft and tax evasion sentences.
The charges to which Mr. Asprogiannis pleaded guilty all stemmed from his operation of Zoey’s Pizza in Manchester. As a restaurant operator, Mr. Asprogiannis was required to collect Meals and Rooms (“M&R”) tax payments from patrons of Zoey’s Pizza and give the tax payments to the State. The M&R tax is charged on each taxable sale paid by the patron to the operator, and belongs to the State from the moment of collection. The operator must collect the M&R tax from patrons and regularly remit all M&R taxes collected to the DRA. M&R tax funds flow to the towns, cities, and unincorporated places, and into the State’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund.
During its investigation, the State discovered that for approximately five years (September 2011 – June 2016), Mr. Asprogiannis purposely underreported the taxable sales from Zoey’s Pizza, which allowed him to keep for himself over $100,000 in M&R tax payments that had been collected from patrons and should have been remitted to DRA.
In addition, by underreporting taxable sales to the DRA, Mr. Asprogiannis also caused Zoey’s Pizza to evade nearly $100,000 in additional Business Profits Taxes. Prior to today’s guilty plea, Mr. Asprogiannis had already made full restitution of the approximately $200,000 in both M&R and Business Profits Tax payments.
The successful resolution of this case was the result of the collaborative efforts of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and the DRA, with assistance from both the Manchester Police Department and Special Agents from the Criminal Division of the Internal Revenue Service. If you have information related to revenue suppression or tax fraud, please visit the Department of Revenue Administration’s website at or send an e-mail to TaxFraudHotline@dra.nh.gov, or call the Tax Fraud Hotline at 603-230-5030.