Restaurant owner to be confined to his home for a year over tax fraud

The St. Louis Park restaurateur pleaded guilty to dozens of charges.
Publish date:

The owner of a St. Louis Park restaurant will be confined to his home for a year as punishment for filing false tax returns on dozens of occasions.

Thomas Pham, 45, of Plymouth, had pleaded guilty earlier this month to 38 counts of filing false tax returns after under-reporting monthly sales at his Thanh Do restaurant, formerly at 8028 Minnetonka Blvd.

He was sentenced to five years of probation and a year in a workhouse, which he will spend instead confined to his home monitored with an electronic tag.

Hennepin County District Judge Regina Chu choosing this in lieu of prison because Pham "appeared to be amenable to probation and she wanted him to pay the money he owes the state."

Prosecutors had argued for him to serve the term in the workhouse however, noting that Pham "had a lengthy history of non-compliance with the state tax laws."

Over a period of three years, Pham underreported sales to the tune of $120,000, and must pay restitution of $130,858, which takes into account penalty fees and interest.

Pham has owned several restaurants in the Twin Cities over the years, including the Wondrous Azian Kitchen in downtown, and Azia and the Caterpillar Lounge on Eat Street.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Prosecutor Sarah Stennes said that Pham had stolen not just from the state of Minnesota, but from all the citizens who adhere to tax laws.

"Sales and use tax is a trust tax," she said. "It is a tax on general retail sales paid by all Minnesotans and it’s the duty of merchants, such as Mr. Pham, to hold those funds in trust until they are remitted to the State of Minnesota.

"The revenue from sales and use tax benefit all residents of our state in the form of roads, bridges, schools, etc. In that sense, not just the Department of Revenue but also all the citizens of Minnesota were a victim here."

Next Up

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.


St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been filed yet and the staff member has not been identified.


Burnsville restaurant owners are facing tax fraud charges

They allegedly used zapper software to avoid sales tax.

Twin Cities restaurateur charged with 38 counts of tax fraud

He evaded almost $120,000 in sales tax payments over a three-year period.

kitchen cleaning

St. Paul cleaning service owners charged with 45 sales tax crimes

The St. Paul pair failed to pay more than $50,000 in sales tax.

Darbar India Grill & Bar

Owners of Darbar India Grill restaurants charged with tax crimes

Officials say the locations evaded paying more than $280K in sales tax.

MN student tried to access Trump tax records before 2016 election

The 22-year-old has pleaded guilty to federal crimes.

Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 10.31.25 AM

Five years after it closed, Galaxy Drive In set to re-open

The owner of the St. Louis Park restaurant has been waiting for the right moment to bring it back.

Andrew Zimmern's new Twin Cities restaurant opens next week

The Lucky Cricket in St. Louis Park opens its doors on Monday.

Andrew Zimmern under fire for his views on Chinese chefs in the Midwest

He just opened his new St. Louis Park restaurant, Lucky Cricket.