You are reading

Owner of Well-Known Woodside Restaurant Convicted of $1 million Tax Evasion

The owner of Mamajuana Cafe Queens, pictured, has been busted for defrauding the state out of at least $1 million in sales tax. Photo Google Maps)

June 9, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

The owner of a well-known restaurant and nightclub in Woodside has been convicted of defrauding the state out of at least $1 million in sales tax.

Oscar Monegro, who owns Mamajuana Café Queens, located at 33-15 56th St., pleaded guilty to grand larceny and criminal tax fraud for filing bogus financial reports over an eight-year period, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced Monday.

The case was prosecuted by the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

According to the charges, Monegro underreported his sales revenue between December 2012 and February 2020 and failed to pay $1 million in sales tax that he had collected.

Monegro’s crimes were discovered by tax investigators while they were analyzing his returns. He operates the restaurant, which has a distinctly Latin theme, under the corporate name Culturas Fiesta Inc.

Monegro has been ordered to pay back $1 million in restitution, prosecutors said. They did not say whether fines or penalties were levied against him.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said that Monegro stole the money to line his own pockets. However, she said the repayment will now help fund community services.

“Tax evasion hurts our economy and diverts funding away from vital public programs… this will not stand in Queens County,” Katz said.

Amanda Hiller, the acting New York State commissioner of taxation and finance, echoed Katz’s sentiments.

“Business owners who steal sales tax paid by their customers deprive their communities of revenue for vital public programs and services — and put law-abiding businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” Hiller said.

“We’ll continue to work with all our partners in law enforcement to uncover tax evasion and level the playing field for all businesses.”

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Five Queens startups win $20,000 each in 2024 Tech + Innovation Challenge

May. 19, 2024 By Czarinna Andres

A diverse range of businesses, including a yoga studio, an olive oil distributor, a female health care provider, a sustainable mushroom farmer, and an AI-powered physical therapy service, have been named winners of the 2024 Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge (QTIC). Each winner will receive a $20,000 grant to support their business operations.

QBP Richards, advocates rally to demand Mayor Adams restore funding to City’s libraries

May. 17, 2024 By Gabriele Holtermann

A rally was held at the Queens Public Library at Forest Hills on May 16, during which Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott, union reps and library advocates called on Mayor Eric Adams to reverse the proposed $58.3 million budget cuts to the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), and the Queens Public Library (QBL) for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins on July 1, 2024.

Queens elected officials secure $70 million from New York State Budget for school safety equipment in religious and independent schools

May. 17, 2024 By Anthony Medina

Religious and independent schools throughout the city will soon receive additional funding for school safety equipment, thanks to Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and State Senator Michael Gianaris, who, after extensive advocacy efforts, successfully secured $70 million from the New York State Budget for 2024-25 for Non-Public School Safety Equipment (NPSE) grants.