Food service company owner faces tax, theft charges

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US AttorneyThe owner of a food service company has been charged tax fraud and other charges while serving as a vendor for federal school food programs.

Frank D. Dolce, 50, of Wilmington,  was charged with eight counts of tax fraud, one count of structuring to avoid reporting requirements, one count of conspiracy to commit theft from the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs, and 22 counts of theft from the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Delaware,  Dolce was the owner of Primos Food Service, a food service management company located in Wilmington.

Primos provided cafeteria services to charter schools in Philadelphia and the Delaware County Courthouse and Government Center in Media,  PA.  The Indictment alleges that Dolce filed false tax returns both personally and on behalf of Primos because he failed to report certain cash collected from the schools and the Courthouse Café.

The Indictment further alleges that in January and February 2013, Dolce made or directed one of his employees to make 27  cash deposits, each slightly below $10,000, into different accounts at two branches of TD Bank, N.A.   The total cash deposited was over $250,000.

The indictment alleges that Dolce structured the cash transactions in this manner with the intention of avoiding the bank’s requirements to report cash transactions greater than $10,000 to the Department of the Treasury.

After the cash deposits were made, Dolce then used that cash in part to purchase a boat for approximately $355,500.

Finally, the Indictment charges that Dolce conspired with others to steal money directly or indirectly from the U.S. Department of Agriculture because he falsely inflated claims for reimbursement for meals served to qualifying students at charter schools between April 2011 and January 2014.

By  claiming more meals served under the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs than were actually served, the indictment alleges that Dolce stole USDA funds on a number of dates relating to claims for student meals served at Imhotep Institute Charter High School, Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School, and Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School, all in Philadelphia.

The case is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General – Investigations.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer K. Welsh, District of Delaware.

Dolce faces up to 10 years of imprisonment for the structuring charge, three  years of imprisonment on the tax fraud charges, and five years of imprisonment for the conspiracy and each theft offense, and a maximum of a $500,000 fine for structuring, a $100,000 fine for tax fraud, and a $250,000 fine for each remaining offense.

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