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June 28, 2011

Naples Restaurant Owner Arrested

Edward M. Deleo, 47, former owner of Uno Chicago Grill in Naples, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $67,000 in sales tax he collect from customers, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Deleo was arrested by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department on June 16, 2011 on a felony charge relating to grand theft. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as repayment of stolen taxes, interest, penalty and investigative costs.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Deleo collected tax from customers at his restaurant. However, during various periods beginning in 2007 and lasting through periods in 2010, he failed to send into the state all the sales tax he collected. The restaurant was located at 2380 Vanderbilt Beach Road in Naples.

"Most Florida businesses do an excellent job of meeting the state's requirements for collecting and submitting sales tax, which pays for services Floridians need," said Lisa Vickers, Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue. "Individuals who collect tax but don't send it in are stealing taxpayer dollars and gaining an unfair financial advantage over honest businesses. It's our job to ensure that Florida's tax laws are administered fairly."

If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in Fort Myers at 239-338-2425.

Note: Due to the confidential nature of taxpayer records, generally the information found in this release is the only information available from the Department of Revenue concerning this matter. Other information may be available through the arresting agency and the local Clerk of Court.