Local Restaurateur Sentenced to Prison in Fraud Case Used to Prop Up Failing Eatery

by

comment
On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, Andrew Zelenkofske of Chagrin Falls was sentenced to 36 months in prison for defrauding former clients of over $1 million. Local diners might remember him as the garrulous owner of Melange, which operated at La Place in Beachwood from 2007 until it closed in 2011. That space is now occupied by Cedar Creek Grille.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, who determined that Zelenkofske defrauded his victims by acquiring funds from them to invest in a biotech start-up. Those funds were in turn used to prop up his failing restaurant. Zelenkofske defrauded another victim, a former client of his accounting practice, by falsely claiming that she owed income taxes.



Making matters worse, Zelenkofske attempted to obstruct the administration of the IRS by falsifying various documents.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Stewart Dalzell ordered $987,050 in restitution, three years of supervised release and a $500 special assessment.


Tags

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.