Georgia bar and restaurant owner sentenced to federal prison, ordered to pay restitution for tax evasion


Date: June 21, 2023


Statesboro, GA — The co-owner of multiple bars and a restaurant in Georgia has been sentenced to federal prison for tax evasion.

Eugene R. Britt III, aka Trey Britt, of Milledgeville, Ga., was sentenced to 24 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to Tax Evasion, as jointly announced by Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Jill E. Steinberg of the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randall Hall also ordered Britt to pay $362,249.53 in restitution and a fine of $10,000, and to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence.

There is no parole in the federal system.

"Trey Britt created a scheme to illegally withhold profits that should have been remitted to the U.S. Treasury," said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. "Avoiding the obligation of paying taxes places a greater burden on all law-abiding taxpayers, and Britt is being held accountable for his actions."

As described in court documents and testimony, Britt engaged in a scheme to evade taxes owed to the IRS on income from multiple bars and a restaurant he and others owned near college campuses in Georgia. As part of the scheme, Britt and others disguised their ownership in the bars by causing each establishment to be owned on paper by a single person. Britt and the other true owners then shared in the profits by skimming cash and disbursing it amongst themselves.

Britt personally controlled the distribution of cash for three of the establishments. As part of his guilty plea, Britt acknowledged that for approximately two decades he skimmed cash from his bars and restaurants and did not report it on his tax returns.

Additionally, Britt admitted to engaging in a similar cash skimming operation with respect to sales of beer at a music festival in 2015. Britt ensured that his individual tax return was false because he did not inform his accountant of the cash he received from the bars and the music festival during this year.

"Business owners have a responsibility to accurately report their income and not doing so is unlawful," said Lisa Fontanette, acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. "IRS Criminal Investigation special agents will pursue those who disregard that responsibility in order to steal from taxpayers and the federal government."

"Hard-working taxpayers should not have to shoulder the burden for people like Trey Britt who fail to pay their taxes because of greed," said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "The FBI will work with our partners to make sure there are serious consequences for those who intentionally avoid their tax obligations."

IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI investigated the case, which was prosecuted for the United States by Assistant Chief David Zisserson and Trial Attorney Casey Smith of the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, and the Southern District of Georgia Assistant U.S. Attorney's Office.