North Ogden Couple Pleads Guilty For Tax Fraud Scheme
SALT LAKE CITY – Husband and wife Robert Watson, 54, and Marie Watson, 52, pleaded guilty in federal court in Salt Lake City in connection with a tax fraud scheme arising out of their operation of the Teazers Sports Bar & Grill in Ogden, Utah.
U.S. Attorney David B. Barlow for the District of Utah and Special Agent in Charge Paul A. Camacho of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Las Vegas Field Office made the announcement.
Robert Watson pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of filing false tax returns – one a corporate return and one a personal return. He faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $100,000. Marie Watson pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false personal tax return and also faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $100,000. The Watsons will be sentenced on Jan. 10, 2014.
According to the indictment and other publicly filed documents, during the time the Watsons owned and operated Teazers, they failed to report substantial cash income on Teazers’ corporate returns and on their personal tax returns. Teazers generated large amounts of cash income from entrance fees known as “cover charges” charged at the door of the bar and from other items in the bar such as pool tables and video games. The Watsons deliberately hid this cash income from their tax preparer and caused tax returns to be filed with the IRS that grossly understated their true income.
The Watsons’ guilty pleas involved false returns arising out of this scheme for tax year 2007. According to the publicly filed plea documents, Robert Watson could owe the IRS as much as $221,290 in back taxes, and Marie Watson could owe as much as $114,942. The final amount owed to the IRS will be determined at sentencing.
This case is being investigated by the IRS-CI Las Vegas Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason R. Burt for the District of Utah.