Lake Norman restaurant owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

Lake Norman restaurant owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

LAKE NORMAN, NC (WBTV) - A man who owns a Lake Norman restaurant pleaded guilty to tax evasion Friday, according to the Department of Justice.

Court officials said 49-year-old Peter Gjuraj owns and operates the restaurant, Blue Parrot, in Lake Norman.

Court documents said that the restaurant, Blue Parrot, earned additional gross receipts totaling approximately $2,793,873.00 for 2012 through 2014, which Gjuraj failed to report on his individual income tax returns filed with the IRS.

Court officials said Gjuraj used business funds to purchase two homes for $375,000, cars worth approximately $80,000 and additional funds for personal items such as traveling and home improvements.

Court documents said Gjuraj failed to file a timely tax return for 2015 despite earning approximately $631,666 in income.

U.S. Attorney Jill Rose released this statement Friday:

"Gjuraj reaped all the benefits of owning a profitable restaurant on the shores of Lake Norman, but did not want to pay taxes owed from operating his successful business. Instead, he used the extra income to fund homes, cars, and to travel. To those tax cheats who think they can get away without paying taxes owed, you will be investigated and you will be held accountable for your actions."

The tax evasion charge carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Gjuraj agreed to pay $536,989.97 in restitution to the IRS, court officials said.

Gjuraj was released on bond after his plea hearing.

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