The owners of three restaurants in Cumberland County have been indicted in recent months as part of a statewide sweep by Maine Revenue Services to crack down on eateries accused of withholding sales taxes from the state.

The owners of J’s Oyster Bar in Portland, Anjon’s Italian Restaurant in Scarborough and DiSanto’s Restaurant in Gray are the latest to be indicted on a slew of charges, including a Class B charge of felony theft by misapplication of sales tax against each of them.

Assistant Attorney General Gregg Bernstein, who is prosecuting the cases brought by Maine Revenue Services, the state tax agency, wouldn’t say Friday how many other cases are being brought against restaurants around the state. He said he was bound by state law to confidentiality prior to any convictions that arise from the cases.

But Bernstein identified a restaurant owner in York County who has been convicted and sentenced to jail in the sweep. Christo Stratos of Wells, the owner of Christo’s restaurant in Sanford, was sentenced in January to serve eight months in jail for stealing $243,902 in sales taxes between 1999 and 2014. He began serving the sentence at the York County Jail in Alfred on Feb. 8.

In the Cumberland County cases, Cynthia Brown of J’s Oyster Bar and John DiSanto Sr. of Anjon’s Italian Restaurant have made court appearances and pleaded not guilty.

DiSanto’s sister, Anna DiSanto, who owns DiSanto’s Restaurant, was the most recent to be indicted on June 9. She has yet to enter a plea in her case. She is scheduled to be arraigned next Thursday at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.

Attorney Thomas Hallett represents both Brown and John DiSanto in their cases. It is not clear whether Anna DiSanto is represented by a lawyer.

“I’m disturbed how this is being handled,” Hallett said Friday. “These are largely civil matters that end up being blown into criminal cases, and it’s too bad.”

Hallett said he was aware of multiple other restaurant sales tax cases being investigated by Maine Revenue Services, but he declined to say how many because some may not lead to criminal charges.

Hallett also declined to say how much the state is claiming his clients owe in back taxes, but said fines and late fees compound the numbers.

Brown, 56, of Portland, was indicted in March on 21 tax-related counts: seven felony charges and 14 misdemeanors. The charges all relate to sales taxes in excess of $10,000 paid by customers of J’s Oyster Bar between March 2008 and March 2015 that she allegedly failed to pay to the Maine state tax assessor. The charges include theft by misapplication, tax evasion, failure to pay state sales tax and failure to file a state income tax return in 2011, according to the indictment in her case.

J’s is an iconic waterfront watering hole in Portland’s Old Port that is as popular with locals, from fishermen to lawyers, as it is with tourists.

Brown’s case is scheduled for trial on Sept. 26.

John DiSanto, 58, of Old Orchard Beach was indicted in April on 11 counts: six felonies and five misdemeanors. The charges against him relate to more than $10,000 in sales taxes paid by Anjon’s customers that he allegedly failed to pay to the state between February 2000 and November 2014. The charges against him include theft by misapplication, tax evasion and failure to collect, account for or pay over sales tax, according to the indictment in his case.

Anjon’s has been in DiSanto’s family for multiple generations and remains popular as a family destination for Italian food.

John DiSanto’s case is next scheduled for a dispositional conference on Aug. 24.

Anna DiSanto, 55, of Raymond was indicted on the same 11 counts as her brother, but those charges relate to her restaurant, DiSanto’s Restaurant in Gray, for more than $10,000 from her customers between July 2007 and September 2014 that she allegedly failed to pay to the state, according to the indictment in her case.

DiSanto’s Restaurant has many of the family recipes that made Anjon’s popular, but adds some new flair that made it a destination in the Lakes Region.

The most serious charge against Brown and the DiSantos is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

In the York County case, Stratos faced charges similar to those lodged against Brown and the DiSantos. The judge sentenced Stratos to a total of four years, with all but eight months suspended. The remainder will hang over him during a three-year probation term to follow his release from jail. Maine authorities have already recovered $150,000 from Stratos. He was ordered to pay the remaining $93,902 as restitution.

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