The U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago says Quan Shun Chen, owner of the Hunan Spring restaurant in Evanston, is one of five restaurant owners indicted on charges of evading taxes by under-reporting the gross receipts from their businesses.

U.S. Attorney John Lausch said the indictments this week should “send a clear message that restaurant owners who choose to illegally underreport gross receipts will be held accountable.”

In a news release, Lausch’s office said the ongoing federal investigation has focused on sales suppression software and other techniques used by restaurant owenrs to manipulate gross receipts.

The government says Chen underreported income from 2012 through 2016.

If convicted, Chen and the other restaurant owners could face a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

The other four people indicted operated restaurants in Chicago, Westmont and Downers Grove.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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