The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Don’t Ever Take Sides With Anyone Against the Family Again. Ever.’

Posted on | January 26, 2024 | Comments Off on ‘Don’t Ever Take Sides With Anyone Against the Family Again. Ever.’

Honestly, I’m surprised Dana Pico, our source on all things Philadelphia-related, has neglected this stunning story:

The father-son duo behind the iconic South Philadelphia cheesesteak spot best known as Tony Luke’s were sentenced to nearly two years in prison Thursday on tax fraud charges — the conclusion of a long-running prosecution and messy family row that now threatens the future of the operation.
Lawyers for Anthony Lucidonio Sr., 84, and son Nicholas Lucidonio, 57, said there is no one else the men trust to run the business. If they both end up behind bars at the same time, the attorneys said, they’d likely have to shutter the storefront in the shadow of I-95 from which they’ve slung their signature sandwiches for more than 30 years. . . .
Lucidonio Sr. opened Tony Luke’s at Oregon Avenue and Front Street in 1992 and has since grown it into a global franchise with more than a dozen locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Maryland, Texas and Bahrain.
Nicholas ran day-to-day operations at the original storefront for many of those years, while his brother Anthony Jr. became the face of the brand and the man who led its expansion.
Anthony Jr.’s business relationship with his family members soured in 2015, and he was fired.
A lawsuit followed and the company split in two — The Original Tony Luke’s, which operates the Oregon Avenue store, and Tony Luke’s franchises, which are run by Lucidonio Jr. and business partner Ray Rastelli.
The litigation later forced the family to change the name of its original location to Tony and Nick’s Steaks in 2022.
Anthony Jr.’s two sons — Anthony III and Michael, who were also employed at the sandwich empire — followed him out the door, taking copies of the company’s financial records with them and turned them over to federal investigators.
Those documents revealed that Lucidonio Sr. and Nicholas Lucidonio hid the success of their business from tax collectors by keeping two sets of books almost from the day the sandwich shop opened.
They purposefully kept cash profits out of their business bank accounts and developed a complicated method of paying their workers partly in cash to avoid having to pay taxes.
Only a portion of employees’ hours would be reflected on the checks they received each payday.

A brilliant scam, ruined because their own flesh and blood betrayed them to the feds! What part of omerta do I have to explain to these kids?


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