It was a common reaction to the arrest of Manco & Manco owners Charles and Mary Bangle on a 30–count indictment of federal tax evasion charges.
"It’s unbelievable, I can't fathom the idea that they were doing that. It's a shame," said long-time customer Mick Busza.
Officials say the Bangles were arrested at their Somers Point home early Thursday morning for allegedly skimming money from the business between 2007 and 2011. Officials say the Bangles concealed $981,000, and had they reported their income correctly, they would have owed an additional $336,000 in taxes.
"Chuck has always been a nice guy as far as I know, a good businessman so it was a shock," said Giovanni Baratta, who rents property next to a Manco & Manco location.
Fellow members of the business community say the charges are almost unbelievable.
"I know them personally and professionally for some time now, they're great people. They've been great to this town, extremely generous," said President of the Ocean City Boardwalk Merchant Association, Wes Kazmarck. "Let’s let the legal system play out and in the end hope this is a big misunderstanding."
Officials say the Bangles claimed the money deposited into personal accounts were salaries earned from the business. The Bangles were scheduled to appear in federal court in Camden on Thursday afternoon. Some business owners we spoke with tell us they hope these charges do not affect Ocean City's family resort reputation.
"Overall yes, it would be bad for the city itself," said Baratta.
The three boardwalk locations were closed Thursday but the Somers Point location remained open for business. Now, with the legal process underway, Manco & Manco faithful will try to digest the news.
"There’s a lot of memories here," said longtime customer, Phyllis Busza. "It’s just very upsetting, I'm sorry to hear it."
Officials say each of the 30 counts carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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