“No soup for you ... ”
The chief financial officer of The Original Soup Man, a company based around the “Seinfeld” Soup Nazi character, was indicted on tax evasion charges in Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday, according to federal prosecutors.
Robert Bertrand, 62, was charged with 20 counts of failure to pay Medicare, Social Security, and federal income taxes, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York said. He pleaded not guilty on Tuesday and was released on $50,000 bail, according to the Justice Department.
The company, which is based in Staten Island and has three locations in the city, owns the rights to the name and recipes of Al Yeganeh, who inspired the infamous Soup Nazi character from the popular series.
Between 2010 and 2014, Bertrand, of Norwalk, Connecticut, allegedly paid employees in unreported cash and compensated certain employees with large unreported stock awards to the tune of more than $2.8 million.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Bridget Rohde said in a statement the country was “fleeced” out of more than half a million dollars in taxes, adding that: “Tax crimes like those alleged in the indictment hurt every American citizen.”
An attorney for Bertrand did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If convicted, he could face up to 5 years in prison.