The former owner of a diner in Vestal will serve a year and a day in prison after admitting he didn’t pay federal payroll taxes.

57-year-old Nezir “Nick” Boljevic used to own the Vestal Diner but no longer owns or operates the business.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of New York say the former business owner was sentenced in federal court in Utica September to the prison time after previously pleading guilty to one felony count of willful failure to pay federal payroll taxes.

In March, federal prosecutors reported that under a plea agreement, Boljevic admitted that from 2007 to 2017, while he owned and operated the diner on the Vestal Parkway, he failed to make payroll tax payments to the federal government with respect to  his employees.

The allegations stated that the missing payment included those for Social Security and Medicare taxes. Prosecutors went on to say the restauranteur did withhold the payroll taxes from his employees’ paychecks but did not report the withholdings or turn the money over to the Internal Revenue Service.

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Furthermore, prosecutors say Boljevic went out of his way to cover up the scheme.  To avoid IRS collection efforts, authorities say Boljevic repeatedly put the diner into the names of a series of “nominee owners”, using different Employer Identification numbers for tax filings.  While the diner was being listed under different owner names and numbers, investigator say Boljevic continued to be the true owner and operator of the business.

In total, officials say the former Vestal Diner owner failed to pay 322-thousand, 516-dollars and 51-cents in payroll taxes to the IRS for a decade.

In addition to a year and a day in prison, Boljevic has been ordered to pay the outstanding tax amount to the IRS.

*The current owners of the Vestal Diner are not affiliated with Mr. Boljevic.

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