Area family accused of skimming $1.8M


Five Sandusky family members have been indicted on federal charges that accuse them of skimming more than $1.8 million in cash from three restaurants the family operates in the Sandusky area.

Indicted were Haralambos Gonos, 52; Andreas Gonos, 28; Chris Gonos, 31; Kryiakos Gonos, 30, and Sofia Skoura, 52.

All five made an initial appearance Monday in U.S. District Court, Toledo, where they entered not-guilty pleas before Magistrate Vernelis Armstrong.

Haralambos Gonos, who owns the restautants, and his wife, Ms. Skoura, each posted $100,000 property bonds.

The other three co-defendants were released on $30,000 property bonds.

According to the indictment, the four Gonos family members are charged with conspiracy to structure financial transactions to evade filing currency transaction reports for taking large amounts of cash from two Dianna’s Deli restaurants, both in Sandusky, and Dianna’s in Port Clinton, and making multiple deposits of cash just under the $10,000 threshold between 2007 and 2009.

Haralambos Gonos and an unindicted co-conspirator also are charged with structuring financial transactions to evade filing Form 8300 — an Internal Revenue Service form required for reporting cash payments of $10,000 or more — between March, 2010, and November, 2011.

Federal prosecutors say Haralambos Gonos used cash and cashier’s checks to purchase a 2007 Mercedes S550 with an estimated value of $25,700 and a 2005 Porsche Cayenne estimated to be worth $14,525.

In the third count of the indictment, Haralambos Gonos and Ms. Skoura, are charged with conspiring to engage in bulk cash smuggling in an attempt to transport currency outside the United States.

On or about Jan. 31, prosecutors say, the couple tried to take more than $14,700 to Greece, where they maintain a residence.