Twin Cities area restaurants, owners charged with multiple tax crimes
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office recently charged Lakhvir Singh Padda, of Medina, Baljit Singh, of Eagan, and Darbar Indian Grill restaurants in Minneapolis and Apple Valley with multiple tax crimes.
- Mr. Padda is charged with 55 felony counts of aiding in the filing of false or fraudulent sales tax returns.
- Mr. Singh is charged with 10 felony counts of aiding in the filing of false or fraudulent sales tax returns.
- Darbar Indian Grill Minneapolis is charged with 62 felony counts of failing to pay or collect sales tax.
- Darbar Indian Grill Apple Valley is charged with 31 felony counts of failing to pay or collect sales tax.
According to the complaints, Mr. Padda and Mr. Singh are owners of Darbar Indian Grill restaurants in Minneapolis and Apple Valley. The complaints allege that for multiple periods between July 2014 and July 2019, both Mr. Padda and Mr. Singh knowingly underreported sales tax collections for both restaurants to their accountant for the filing of their monthly sales tax returns. At the Minneapolis restaurant, investigators found that thousands of sales transactions were deleted from the point-of-sale system and investigators noticed an unusually low percentage of cash sales in the system – an indication of an effort to reduce sales tax obligations, according to the complaints. The restaurants allegedly evaded paying more than $280,000 in sales tax.
Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Although most taxpayers comply with tax laws voluntarily, the department takes enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers to ensure that tax laws are administered fairly.
Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from public tips. There is a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects that a person or business is violating Minnesota tax laws. Local callers may dial 651-297-5195 or call toll-free by dialing 1-800-657-3500. Tips can also be submitted to the department by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous.