Tudor Constantinescu, owner of ‘Chocolat’ restaurants and cafes chain was detained by the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) on Friday, in a file of tax evasion and money laundering.
In the same file, were also detained Cristian Cucona and Mihail Morosan, associates and administrators of SC Solutions Center SRL Constanta and five other persons are being investigated under judicial control.
The DIICOT prosecutors heard on Thursday 112 people, including owners and managers of restaurants in Bucharest, following the 43 searches in clubs and restaurants in Bucharest, including Chocolat, Trattoria Il Calcio, Fratelli, Le Club.
The owners of several clubs and bars in Bucharest are targeted by the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) for tax evasion and money laundering, as 43 searches were conducted Thursday morning.
DIICOT Bucharest carried out 43 searches at all sites of the companies Choco Ateneu SRL, Choco Mosilor SRL, Coza Nostra Art Ltd, Theobroma Consult SRL, Theoprod Art SRL, Restaurante Tratoria Il Calcio SRL, Twins Downtown SRL, Twins Cafe SRL, Le Club Herastrau SRL, Rubicon Floreasca Ltd, which own the premises Chocolat, Trattoria Il Calcio, Fratelli, Le club, etc.
The group’s coordinators are reportedly Tudor – Mihai Constantinescu and the French citizen Jean Philippe Pierre Luc Guilbert-Lassange, associates of the companies Choco Ateneu SRL, Choco Mosilor SRL, Coza Nostra Art Ltd, Theobroma Consult SRL and Theoprod Art SRL.
They allegedly operate by reducing the tax base using an accounting software that allows the keeping of double accounting records (a real one which highlights the real revenues and a fictitious one, reflecting reduced revenues and increased expenses), said the sources.
In 2006, they purchased the soft for double accounting records, which is installed on cash registers, from SC Solutions Center SRL from Constanta.
Tudor Constantinescu’s position: “I will cooperate with the authorities to prove my innocence”
In regard to the searches conducted on Thursday, Tudor Constantinescu has issued a release on behalf of him and Chocolat Thursday evening:
“I want to thank all collaborators and all Chocolat customers, whom I want to assure of my professionalism, fairness and transparency that have always stood at the basis of the business I’ve built for the last nine years.
During this period, Chocolat has grown by honest work of some extraordinary and devoted people and by creativity, from one restaurant and 7 employees to a team of over 170 people in six locations in Bucharest.
I will collaborate with the authorities during the investigation to prove my innocence.
I apologize for exposing the customers to the situation today and I guarantee you that Chocolat will continue to rise to expectations and will maintain the same high standards in terms of products and services.”