Two former Happy's Pizza shareholders from West Bloomfield plead guilty on Thursday to tax fraud in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan.
Maher Bashi, the company's former CFO, and Tom Yaldo, a prolific franchisee, were presumably not-so-happy as they plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States.
The multiple count indictment released July 16, 2013, alleged that from June 2004 through April 2011, Bashi, Yaldo, and other shareholders conspired to divert business receipts, underreport wages, and understate the true income and expenses of certain Happy's franchises. According to the indictment, the scheme resulted in more than $2.1 million in unreported wages to employees and shareholders.
According to the plea agreement Bashi and Yaldo will each pay restitution to the IRS. The two each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.