An executive at Soupman Inc., the company that licensed the recipes of the "Soup Nazi" made famous by the television show "Seinfeld," has landed in hot water.
Federal prosecutors have accused Robert Bertrand, Soupman's chief financial officer, of avoiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax payments — including Social Security, Medicare and federal income — by paying employees off the books.
At an arraignment on Tuesday, Mr. Bertrand pleaded not guilty and was released on $50,000 bail, according to the United States attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York.
Soupman sells soup and licenses franchises inspired by the famous Manhattan shop that Al Yeganeh opened in 1984.
Mr. Yeganeh became known as the "Soup Nazi," a name he has reportedly never liked, after "Seinfeld" memorialized him in a 1995 episode.
The real Mr. Yeganeh set three rules for customers at his original shop, Soup Kitchen International, near the corner of 55th Street and Eighth Avenue: "Pick the soup you want! Have your money ready! Move to the extreme left after ordering!"
On "Seinfeld," the actor Larry Thomas played a character named Yev Kassem, an angry chef who yelled "No soup for you!" at any customer who did not follow the rules.