Federal agents searched Tandoori's restaurant in Amherst and a private home in Clarence Tuesday as part of a new criminal investigation into the business.
An Internal Revenue Service spokesman confirmed that agents executed search warrants at the Transit Road restaurant and the home on Thornwood Lane but said he could not comment on what they were looking for.
“We did have local agents out there on official business," said Special Agent Tim Shanahan, a spokesman for the IRS.
Shanahan said he could comment on any criminal allegations against the business or its owners, but another law enforcement source said the investigation revolves around undeclared income and employee wages.
The source also said the investigation is focused on Ravi and Rita Sabharwal, the owners of the restaurant.
The Sabharwals could not be reached for comment, and a man who answered the phone at Tandoori's said he would give them a message.
Tandoori's, one of the region's oldest and most popular Indian restaurants, is viewed as a pioneer of sorts when it comes to Indian cuisine in Western New York.
The Sabharwals also have invested in other businesses and, in 2011, ran into financial problems at one of their properties, McKinley's Banquet and Conference Center in Blasdell.
The business closed abruptly that year, leaving customers who had already booked weddings and parties without a venue, although the Sabharwals made an effort to help those people relocate their parties to new banquet facilities in the region.
Ravi Sabharwal told The Buffalo News at the time that his family had been losing money at McKinley's for 10 years and had to walk away.
“We're making sure each and every bride is going to be happy. We are business people. We live in the Buffalo area, and we are going to stay here for the rest of our lives,” Sabharwal said at the time. “We're not declaring bankruptcy and running away.”