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Oakland Co. sushi restaurant owners face tax charges

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Orchard Lake – Owners of an Oakland County sushi restaurant have been charged with embezzling more than $100,000 in sales tax and underreporting their income by a similar amount the past four years.

Christina Chang, 51, and Dong Hyun Chang, 46, of Orchard Lake were charged Thursday in Bloomfield 48th District Court with one count of embezzlement over $100,000; conspiracy to embezzle over $100,000; possession of an automated sales suppression device; 59 counts of filing false monthly sale tax returns; and five counts of filing false joint income tax returns.

The charges are all felonies, with penalties ranging from five years to up to 20 years in prison and a variety of fines, according to a release from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

“If the allegations are true, these individuals intentionally possessed illegal software to steal from the State of Michigan for nothing more it seems than personal greed,” said Schuette. “No one is above the law and those who believe they are will continue to face the consequences.”

Both were arrested and arraigned Thursday before Magistrate Julie Nelson-Klein, who set a $1 million cash/surety bond for each of them and a $100,000 personal recognizance bond for their business, Sushi Samurai.

As a condition of bond, both must surrender their passports and wear GPS tethers pending a May 1 pre-exam hearing before 48th District Judge Kimberly Small. Both remained in jail Friday.

According to Schuette, the charges followed a joint probe by his office and the Department of Treasury that determined sales at Sushi Samurai in Orchard Lake were allegedly significantly higher that what was reported to the state

Authorities allege the Changs used “zapper” software to delete thousands of sales receipts from point of sale records.

The couple allegedly embezzled more than $170,000 in sales tax receipts. In addition, more than $2.5 million in sales were never reported or accounted for in income tax filings between 2012 and 2016, according to the release.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319