NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk man who serves as CFO at the "Soup Nazi" restaurants made famous on "Seinfeld" was indicted Tuesday on charges of tax evasion, according to prosecutors.
The indictment was unsealed at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, N.Y., charging Robert N. Bertrand, of Norwalk, with 20 counts of failure to pay Medicare, Social Security, and federal income taxes.
He is the chief financial officer of Soupman Inc., which licenses the name and recipes of Al Yeganeh, the “Soup Nazi” character from “Seinfeld.” Bertrand was to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go.
The indictment said Bertrand had a corporate responsibility to collect, truthfully account for, and pay Medicare, Social Security, and federal income taxes for Soupman’s employees.
However, between 2010 and 2014, Bertrand paid Soupman employees on the side in unreported cash amounts, and compensated certain employees in large unreported stock awards.
Bertrand never reported this employee compensation to the IRS, and never paid trust fund taxes on the cash payments or the stock awards, despite a 2012 warning from an external auditor that these payments should be reported to the IRS.
From 2010 through 2014, Soupman’s total unreported cash and stock compensation was $2,850,967.59, and the total approximate tax loss to the United States was $593,971.52.
“As alleged, the United States was fleeced out of more than half a million dollars through the defendant’s corporate misdeeds,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde. “Tax crimes like those alleged in the indictment hurt every American citizen.”
James D. Robnett, of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Division in New York, said it had negative consequences for the employees. “This type of evasion also results in the loss of future Social Security and Medicare benefits for the employees of Soupman Inc. as well.”