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In June 2018, the married owners of sushi and barbecue restaurants in Pleasant Hill, Manteca, and Tracy were charged with 30 felony counts, including conspiracy, related to alleged payroll tax evasion and fraud. They have have now taken a plea deal in a conspiracy case that alleged workers compensation fraud and tax evasion.

The Mercury News reported that Lafayette residents 63 year old Kyung Yeon, and 65 year old Richard Howard, were both sentenced at a hearing Wednesday afternoon, according to court records. Yeon, the lead defendant, pleaded no contest to single charges of tax evasion and workers compensation fraud, both felonies.

Yeon’s husband, Howard, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor insurance evasion charge. The couple had originally been charged with 30 counts, including conspiracy.

Yeon will serve 90 days on house arrest and five years of probation, and pay a $20,000 fine, prosecutors said. Howard was given 100 hours of community service, two years of probation and a $1,000 fine. Both defendants must also pay around $80,000 in restitution.

Yeon and Howard own Matsu Sushi and Chop Chop Korean BBQ – both in Pleasant Hill – as well as Bluefin Sushi in Tracy and Matsu Sushi in Manteca. At the time of the alleged offenses, the restaurants had a total of 28 full- and part-time employees, according to court records.

In July 2016 a federal wage investigator with the U.S. Department of Labor alerted the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office that Yeon and Howard owed around $270,000 in employee back wages over a three-year period, from December 2012 to December 2015, according to court records.

In response to the tip, a D.A. inspector filed a search warrant and obtained payroll tax records from the restaurant. Roughly a year later, prosecutors filed the fraud and tax evasion charges.

They were charged in June 2018, through a criminal complaint that alleged they evaded $1.1 million in payroll taxes by using “under the table” cash payment systems for employees at all four restaurants.