Long Beach : Plea to State Tax Charges

In one of the largest state tax-evasion cases to reach court in the Los Angeles area, the owner of two Long Beach restaurants pleaded no contest last week to a charge that he failed to pay $400,000 owed to the Franchise Tax Board.

Jimmy Contos, owner of the Golden Star restaurants on Pacific Coast Highway and on Carson Street, was accused of underpaying his state taxes for 1983 and 1984, tax board spokesman Jim Reber said.

The case was investigated by the Governor's Task Force on the Underground Economy, which was established in 1986 to coordinate law-enforcement efforts against tax evaders, Reber said.

Contos, 60, is scheduled to appear before Long Beach Municipal Judge John S. Lane on Aug. 29 for sentencing. The maximum penalty for the felony charge is six years in state prison, in addition to paying the past-due taxes, penalties and interest, Reber said.

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