On Tuesday, it was announced that the owner of a local food service business had been sentenced to 23 months in prison for stealing nearly one million dollars from the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. Frank D. Dolce admitted to committing tax fraud and structuring cash deposits to avoid reporting requirements. The defendant allegedly used the fraudulent cash to purchase many things, including a luxury boat, which has since been seized.

Dolce was the owner of Primos Food Service in Wilmington, Delaware. The company provided cafeteria services to charter schools in Philadelphia, as well as the Delaware County Courthouse and the Government Center in Media, Pennsylvania. Many of the charter schools participated in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. These programs reimburse schools with federal funds for meals provided to impoverished children.

It was alleged that between April 2011 and January 2014 Dolce submitted false claims for reimbursement. Those claims misrepresented the number of meals served at the four charter schools. By inflating the number of meals served, Dolce store at least $911,953. The defendant also filed false tax returns for himself and Primos, because certain income was omitted.

The business often generated cash sales. Instead of depositing the cash into the business bank account, Dolce ordered employees to bring the money back to Primos’ office in Delaware. Then, employees would destroy the receipts. Most of the cash was not reported on Dolce’s personal or business tax returns.

In January and February of 2013, Dolce made or ordered one of his employees to make 27 cash deposits into different accounts at two TD Bank branches. Each deposit was slightly below $10,000. In total, the amount deposited exceeded more than $250,000. Dolce carried out the deposits in this manner to avoid the bank’s reporting requirements. Dolce used part of the cash to purchase a luxury boat for approximately $355,500.

That boat will now be forfeited to the government. Frank D. Dolce has been sentenced to 23 months in prison for the fraud scheme.

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