A co-owner of a group of eight Georgian bars today pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
According to court documents and statements made in court, William Britt engaged in a scheme to evade taxes owed to the IRS on income from bars he and others owned. Although each establishment had a single nominal owner, in reality the bars all had a group of co-owners, including Britt, with varying ownership percentages. Britt had a stake in entities such as Chrysha Inc., which operated a bar in Statesboro, and BGRG Inc., which operated a bar and restaurant in Milledgeville. Britt, along with the other beneficial owners, shared the bars’ profits in proportion to their respective ownership percentages.
Britt provided false information to an accountant for the preparation of tax returns related to some of the businesses. Specifically, Britt misrepresented true corporate ownership, understated bar revenues, and omitted cash distributions to owners. This conduct caused Britt and other owners of the bars to file false tax returns with the IRS by paying less than their actual tax obligations. Through her guilty plea, Britt admitted to deliberately underreporting her income on her 2014 tax return.
Last month, James Stafford, who was nominally the sole owner of Chrysha Inc. and BGRG Inc., also pleaded guilty to tax evasion under the same scheme.
Britt will be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Assistant Deputy Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney David Estes for the Southern District of Georgia made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI are investigating the case.
Deputy Chief David Zisserson and Trial Attorney Casey Smith of the Tax Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia are pursuing the case.