Ray & Mike's owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

The owner of a Hamden deli frequented by Quinnipiac University students pleaded guilty to one count of federal tax evasion last week and faces up to five years in prison, as well as a hefty restitution.

Ray George, 52, owns Ray & Mike’s Dairy and Deli at 3030 Whitney Ave. and is a popular fixture at the bustling shop.

Ray George, 52, owns Ray & Mike’s Dairy and Deli, a business that has served Hamden for 21 years. Pictured here in a photo from the deli’s website, George pleaded guilty to one count of federal tax evasion on Friday, May 17.

Ray George, 52, owns Ray & Mike’s Dairy and Deli, a business that has served Hamden for 21 years. Pictured here in a photo from the deli’s website, George pleaded guilty to one count of federal tax evasion on Friday, May 17.

But, according to a Monday release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for Connecticut, George “underreported his income by approximately $365,065 for the 2012 tax year and by $273,108 for the 2013 tax year, and failed to pay a total of approximately $220,000 in taxes.”

George evaded his federal income taxes in multiple ways, the court documents say, using his Ray & Mike’s business account for personal expenses, failing to deposit cash receipts from the deli into his business account and using a portion of the cash to fill an in-store ATM and not reporting the cash as income.

The court documents also say George deposited three checks totaling nearly $300,000 from the Ray & Mike’s business account into his personal investment account, without reporting the funds as income in any capacity, and then withdrew funds from the investment account to purchase personal investment properties. 

He also deposited a $25,800 check from the Ray & Mike’s lottery account into his personal investment account without reporting them.

George waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty on Friday, May 17 in the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport.

George faces a fine of up to approximately $440,000, as well as potential jail time.  He has agreed to pay back taxes of $220,663, plus interest and penalties.

The 21-year-old business is known best for its sandwich menu, as well as the fact it is open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays and during winter storms.