Portsmouth restaurant owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) – The owner of a Portsmouth restaurant and bar admitted to a federal court that he failed to report nearly $1 million in income from his business.

Kenneth O’Brien, 47, pleaded guilty to three counts of tax evasion in federal court on Thursday. According to U.S. Atorney Peter Neronha, O’Brien admitted that he kept two sets of business bookkeeping records, pocketed the cash, and falsified his personal tax returns.

An IRS review of The Beach House revealed that the restaurant was listed for sale and O’Brien was allegedly keeping two sets of bookkeeping records. During a meeting with an undercover agent O’Brien explained that he skimmed cash from the business, according to information presented to the court.

The defendant reportedly told the agent, “… I steal five to ten thousand a month. On a slow month five, on a good month ten.”

Information presented to the court reveled that O’Brien failed to disclose $929,095 in income and failed to pay the IRS $171,990 in taxes.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on September 2. He could face up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

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