Judge sentences Ray & Mike’s owner to prison

By Nick Slater

U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill sentenced Ray George to prison for tax evasion on Tuesday.

George, who has owned and operated Ray & Mike’s Deli for nearly 22 years, was sentenced to nine months in prison, one year of supervised release and fined $5,000, according to a press release.

In the 2012 and 2013 tax years, George underreported his income, failed to pay over $200,000 in taxes and used the Ray & Mike’s business account for personal expenses. He pleaded guilty to the charges in May.

George has paid the IRS approximately $480,000 and is scheduled to report to prison on March 17, 2020. 

Letters from employees and friends, addressed to Chief Judge Underhill, paint a different picture of George.

One employee, who has been working at Ray & Mike’s for 19 years, wrote about George sponsoring events and teams in the Hamden community.

“For the past five years, Ray has been a sponsor and done Survivor Lunch for the Relay for Life in Hamden,” she wrote. “[Ray & Mike’s does] a softball game fundraiser every October for breast cancer, and Ray donates all the food and drinks.”

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Carl Sargolini, former president of Hamden Youth Hockey and current vice president of the Hamden Fathers Baseball/Softball Association, has known George for over 15 years, according to his letter.

Ray & Mike’s Dairy and Deli, located at 3030 Whitney Ave.

Ray & Mike’s Dairy and Deli, located at 3030 Whitney Ave.

“Anytime either organization has needed support, all we had to do was ask Ray and he provided it,” he wrote.

But George’s impact on the community applies to more than sports. He creates jobs for many young adults that are looking to find their passion. Christopher Ford, who has known the George family since Ray & Mike’s opened, wrote:

“[Ray & Mike’s] has always been a place where Ray gave young adults a place to work and grow while they take the time to figure out what it is in life that they want to do,” Ford said. 

Jason Silvestri, who has worked for at the deli since 2007, wrote about Geroge’s character.

“Now, 12 years later I am employed at Yale New Haven Hospital,” Silvestri wrote. “However, I am still working at Ray and Mike’s Deli for the sole reason that Ray is a great guy and is always there for his community and employees.”

Read: Government requests prison sentence for Ray & Mike’s owner

Read: Ray & Mike’s owner to be sentenced Tuesday

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