U.S. Attorney: Manco & Manco Owners ‘Cordial’ in Making Incriminating Statements

first_imgChuck Bangle talks to prospective employees at an Ocean City High School job fair in February 2015. Bangle awaits trial on tax evasion charges related to his business, Manco & Manco pizza.In a pretrial response filed Friday, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman argued that the owners of Manco & Manco Pizza in Ocean City were “cordial” as they welcomed Internal Revenue Service agents into their home during a surprise 2012 interrogation.Charles and Mary Bangle, owners of three Ocean City Boardwalk pizza shops and one in Somers Point that earn a combined $4.5 million annually, are awaiting trial on a 30-count indictment alleging they failed to report $981,000 in income to the IRS between 2007 and 2011 and dodged paying $336,273 in federal taxes.Attorneys for the Bangles are asking a federal judge to exclude statements made by the defendants because they were “coerced” and never informed of their Miranda rights during the May 20, 2012 interview in their Somers Point home. They filed an April 17 motion asking Judge Robert B. Kugler to dismiss a large part of the indictment against them.But the U.S. attorney argued in his May 8 response that the Bangles invited two special agents into their living room after the agents arrived unannounced at their doorstep at 8 a.m. on that May 2012 morning. Charles Bangle offered them coffee and joked that his heritage required him to be hospitable, according to the memorandum of opposition filed by Fishman.When confronted with documents that contradicted statements he made earlier, Charles Bangle “apologized for lying to the agents,” saying he was relieved about getting caught and that he would tell the agents “everything,” according to memo. He stopped only when Mary Bangle began screaming “and commanded that Charles Bangle stop talking” and suggested they speak to a lawyer, the document states.The U.S. attorney says the agents left at that point, but not before Charles Bangle offered cell phone numbers for him and his wife.“The Bangles allege that their statements were involuntary because the agents stood at their front door, ‘prominently’ displayed their firearms, and asked aggressive questions,” Fishman writes. “That is simply not enough.”After questioning the Bangles on the morning of May 20, 2012, the agents had left the home, only to return five minutes later to confront them about their prior statements about unreported cash deposits, according to the pre-trial motion filed by Vincent P. Sarubbi (representing Charles Bangle) and Rocco S. Cipparone Jr. (representing Mary Bangle).“During the course of the Second Interview, the Agents prominently displayed their side arms,” they write. “The Agents were interrogating the Moving Defendants and using their weapons and Agent Maguire’s position blocking the front door to physically and mentally intimidate and coerce the Moving Defendants. The Agents never informed the Moving Defendants that the purpose of the interview was a criminal investigation until after the end of the second interview. At no time did the Agents inform the Moving Defendants that they had a right to an attorney.”The lawyers argue that the Bangles’ Miranda and Fifth Amendment rights were denied.They also suggest that the IRS made no effort to distinguish which statements were made by Charles Bangle and which by Mary Bangle. Instead, the evidence statements were presented as an amalgamation of what “The Bangles” said. As such, preparation of a defense is impossible, the lawyers wrote.“The Government expects to show that both Charles and Mary Bangle responded to the Agents’ questions, at times nodding in agreement when the other was speaking and interrupting one another to provide additional information, and each failed to contest any incriminating statements,” Fishman wrote in his response.The U.S. attorney’s response goes on to ask the judge to deny each of the defendants’ pretrial motions and to preserve the full 30-count indictment.Kugler will issue a ruling on the pretrial motions before a trial date is set.The indictment against the Bangles includes five counts of income tax evasion for 2007 through 2011, one count alleging a conspiracy to avoid paying taxes, and one count of making false statements to the IRS. Charles Bangle is also charged with 23 counts of structuring financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements.“Between 2007 and 2011, Charles and Mary Bangle skimmed large sums of cash from the business,” according to a 2014 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Charles Bangle deposited significant amounts of that cash into their personal bank account at TD Bank in amounts less than $10,000, the amount which triggers a Currency Transaction Report from financial institutions to the U.S. Department of Treasury.”Manco & Manco has three locations on the Ocean City Boardwalk and another on the mainland in Somers Point. For most of the iconic chain’s 58-year history in Ocean City, visitors knew the spot as Mack & Manco. Anthony Mack and Vincent Manco founded the chain in 1956. The partnership between the two families ended and the name changed in 2011. Chuck Bangle, the son-in-law of former co-owners Frank and Kay Manco, purchased a controlling interest at that time.Exhibits filed with the Bangles’ pretrial motions include extensive detail on the government’s case. The documents include interviews with accountants, bank officials, shop employees and the defendants.The government interviews paint a picture of a wildly successful cash business — when cash registers fill up, bills are dropped into a slot that goes into brown paper bags in a locked cabinet below the counter. Bags of cash are dropped sometimes two or three times a day at the home of Kay Manco, according to the government’s investigation.The Macks at one point accused the Mancos of stealing from the business, according to an interview with the Bangles’ former accountant, and Bangle suspected the Macks may have provided information to start the investigation.Bank employees questioned Bangle about his pattern of deposits and reminded him of cash transaction reporting requirements, according to the documents. An auditor reportedly witnessed an employee ringing up “no sale” after a customer paid for a pizza, the documents allege.Each of the 30 counts of the indictment carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.Read the full text of the Bangle indictment.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebooklast_img read more

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