Carmine J. Chioccariello, 40, former owner of The Venue restaurant on Ulmerton Road, faces a felony charge for allegedly keeping $126,000 in sales taxes paid by customers.
A former Clearwater restaurant owner is accused of pocketing $126,000 in sales taxes paid by customers, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Carmine J. Chioccariello, 40, former owner of The Venue restaurant on Ulmerton Road, faces a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. Chioccariello was released on $15,000 bond Wednesday. The Venue closed earlier this year after losing its restaurant permit, state records show. It reopened in May as The V Tampa Bay under new owner John Bernier, the Times reports. Related Coverage: The Venue Looks to Reopen as 'The V' and Fill 75 Jobs
Owners are looking to fill 75 positions at “The V” as it will now be called, which reopens May 4.
Franco Pescante was surprised it closed. Pescante, an owner of Nocturnal Productions which promoted concerts at The Venue, is looking forward to it reopening soon. In the past he brought acts including Sky Blu of LMFAO, Edward Maya and DJ Jazzy Jeff to perform there. “It’s very difficult to place shows in the bay,” Pescante said. “The Venue is actually the perfect size for the shows that I do.” But with little fanfare the Venue, which opened with much pomp a couple years ago closed in early February. Phone messages piled up leaving callers no way to leave messages. Then one day: “The number you have dialed is not permitted.” According to state records the Venue lost its restaurant permit. Their license from the Department of Business and …