The owner of a Lake Norman restaurant has agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion, according to documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Statesville.
Peter Gjuraj, owner of the Blue Parrot Grill off N.C. 150 West in Mooresville, failed to report nearly $3 million in additional gross receipts to the Internal Revenue Service from 2012 through 2014, federal prosecutors said.
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As a result, Gjuraj owes an additional $217,000 to the IRS, the Observer reported Wednesday, citing a bill of information filed in federal court.
Prosecutors file bills of information instead of seeking an indictment. Bills of information are typically filed when a plea agreement has been reached or is in the works.
Gjuraj used business funds to purchase, among other items, two houses for $375,000; cars worth about $80,000; and other personal expenditures, including travel and home improvements, according to the bill of information and a “factual basis” document filed Thursday with a sealed plea agreement.
It was unclear Thursday when a federal judge will unseal the plea agreement.
As a result of the unreported gross receipts, Gjuraj hid “a large part of the gross receipts of Blue Parrot from his tax return preparer,” according to the court records.
Because of the unreported receipts, he “fraudulently claimed various credits against taxes,” according to the document.
Gjuraj structured cash withdrawals to avoid filing currency transaction reports. For example, between July 8, 2013, and Sept. 27, 2013, he made about 15 withdrawals from a bank account totaling about $142,000, prosecutors said.
Gjuraj’s expenditures for 2012 through 2014 “were far in excess of his reported income,” according to the documents.
Gjuraj and his lawyer, Eben Rawls of Charlotte, did not return calls from the Observer requesting comment.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.