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Irish Pub Chain’s Ex-CFO Falsified Documents to Avoid Paying $1M in Sales Tax in Eight States

Former Claddagh Irish Pubs finance chief Ciaran Dillon was charged with two counts of wire fraud.

By Adam Ferrise, (TNS)

The CFO for a company that owns a chain of Irish pubs is accused of falsifying documents to avoid paying $1 million in sales tax to eight states, including Ohio.

Ciaran Dillon of Solon, OH, shaved off about a month of sales tax each year from Claddagh Irish Pubs that operated around the Midwest for nearly a decade, according to court records.

Dillon was charged Wednesday in federal court in Cleveland with two counts of wire fraud. He was arrested Wednesday in the Orlando, Florida area, according to court records.

Court records do not list an attorney for Dillon. Attempts to reach Dillon were unsuccessful, and a phone number listed for CDG Acquisition is no longer working.

An arraignment date has not yet been set. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge  Christopher Boyko.

Dillon was the CFO for CDG Acquisition LLC. CDG and the pubs are owned by Irish millionaire Pat McDonagh’s Supermac’s, a large fast-food chain company. and The Plain Dealer reached out to Supermac’s headquarters and company representatives for comment.

Dillon ran the scheme from January 2010 through May 2018 for 15 restaurants in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the indictment.

Dillon was supposed to pay sales tax every three months that had been collected from the pubs. He shortchanged the states each quarter by excluding one week’s worth of sales tax each quarter from all 15 restaurants, according to the indictment.

It’s the latest in a string of litigation surrounding Claddagh Irish Pubs. The chain suffered financial losses in the mid-2000s and became embroiled in a lawsuit over the payment of $21 million by McDonagh, according to the Irish Times.

McDonagh sued the founder of Claddagh Irish pubs, saying his $21 million was a loan and not an investment. He won the lawsuit, and Claddagh Irish Pubs ended up in bankruptcy in 2007.

Dillon at the time was Supermac’s financial controller, according to the Irish Times.

McDonagh and Supermac’s bought the pub chain through the bankruptcy proceedings in 2008 through its Solon-based CDG Acquisitions for $10 million, according to court records.


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