A West Hartford restaurateur who federal authorities said used a computer “zapper” program to underreport sales pleaded guilty to a tax offense Friday in U.S. District Court.

William Chen, 49, is part owner of restaurants that include Ginza Japanese Restaurant in Bloomfield, Ginza Japanese Cuisine in Wethersfield, Kaliubon Ramen in Wethersfield and West Hartford, and Feng Asian Bistro in Hartford and Canton, and Millbury, Massachusetts. The U.S. Attorney’s office said Chen is responsible for a $2.1 million tax loss to the government.

Federal prosecutors said Chen bought and installed a computer point-of-sale system for the restaurants, but paid an additional fee for “zapper” software, which is designed to enable a business to underreport sales by deleting transactions.

The prosecutors said that from 2013 to 2020, Chen and others at the restaurants used the zapper program to reduce gross receipts and sales tax collection reported by the point-of-sale program, intentionally suppressing taxable income reported in filings with the Internal Revenue Service.

Chen also is accused during the same period of failing to withhold, account for and pay federal income taxes, Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes and federal unemployment taxes for some employees.

Chen pleaded guilty to two counts of filing a false tax return, an offense that carries a maximum term of three years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 21, and is free on personal recognizance.

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