CASTRO VALLEY -- A well-known Castro Valley pizza shop owner has been charged with stealing nearly $200,000 in payroll taxes, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Frank Eugene Gemignani, III, the former owner of Pyzano's Pizzeria, where customers frequently raved about his pies and calzones, was indicted by a grand jury June 19. He has been charged with 11 counts of failure to pay employment taxes and one count of filing a false tax return.

Prosecutors say starting in April 2008, Gemignani deducted and collected approximately $185,249 in federal income taxes from Pyzano's employees' wages and pocketed the dough instead of paying the federal government.

Gemignani, who opened the business in 1991, has also been charged with filing a false federal income tax return for 2007.

He faces a maximum of 58 years in prison if convicted.

Frank Gemignani previously worked alongside his brother Tony, who owns Spin Gourmet Pizza in Walnut Creek. Tony Gemignani is a well-regarded chef who has frequently appeared on the Food Network, The Travel Channel and many other networks, and runs a pizza school in San Francisco.

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