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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — The owner of the Mystic Pizza restaurant, made famous in a 1988 film, has been sentenced to one year in prison for tax evasion and concealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in income.
The U.S. attorney’s office says 49-year-old John Zelepos of North Stonington, Connecticut, was sentenced on Monday to prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty in March to tax evasion and financial structuring offenses.
Prosecutors say that between 2006 and 2010, Zelepos diverted more than $330,000 from Mystic Pizza’s profits into his personal bank accounts and those of family members. They say he then filed false tax returns to hide the income. Mystic Pizza has become a tourist attraction since Julia Roberts starred in the movie about the lives of three waitresses working at the small-town pizza parlor.
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