A Hockessin restaurant owner has received probation in a case involving bribery charges to an IRS agent.
Delaware Online reported Domenico Procope accepted a plea agreement calling for three years probation and a $100 fine in the case. The newspaper/website also reported that Procope proclaimed his innocence.
Click on the link below for a copy of the complaint
Procope had been charged with one count of bribing a public official.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Delaware recused itself from the case that dated back from 2016.
Procope owns or owned several restaurants in the Wilmington and Bear area according to the complaint. The restaurants were not identified but previous press accounts indicate the Procope family members own the Napoli restaurants in Bear, Milltown, and Wilmington.
Beginning in 2009, Procope allegedly began accumulating significant business-related and personal income tax liability. As of February 2016, Procope’s tax liability was about $531,000, including approximately $434,000 in personal tax liability, court filings noted.
In an attempt to alleviate his tax liabilities, Procope allegedly bribed the IRS officer assigned to his tax case. During multiple recorded conversations with the officer, Procope offered the officer $30,000 in exchange for a reduction in his tax liability. On Feb. 25, 2016, Procope allegedly gave the officer $30,000 in cash.
The charge carried a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.