Nick Cho, famous for his work as a barista and coffee-shop owner, today surrendered himself to arrest and booking on 82 counts of tax fraud related to the tax debt that shuttered Capitol Hill’s Murky Coffee in 2008. According to the release from the OCFO, posted in full below the cut, he’s facing 180 days in jail for each count, if convicted, along with a $5k fine, and full restitution if convicted. That would be $410,000 in fines, plus restitution for the amounts not filed with the District in 2006 and 2007, as well as 41 years in jail.
The amount specified by the OCFO for delinquent taxes is over $100,000, which would be compounded with penalties, interest and additional fines.
Chinatown Coffee Company, where Cho currently consults on the coffee operation, did not have a comment this afternoon when reached by telephone. Cho was released this afternoon following the booking. City Paper’s Jason Cherkis has a bit of the backstory here as well. Cherkis has now also spoken with the owners at Chinatown Coffee.
GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
OFFICE OF TAX AND REVENUE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2009
CONTACT: Natalie Wilson
Local Coffee Shop Owner Charged in Tax Fraud
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, after being charged with 82 counts of tax fraud in connection with his failure to timely file monthly sales tax returns and to make the required sales tax payments during the period of Dec. 20, 2004, to Jan. 31, 2008, Nicholas Cho, former owner of Murky Coffee LLC, located at 660 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, made himself available for processing and was booked on those criminal charges by the Metropolitan Police Department.
These criminal charges were brought by the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General in connection with a criminal investigation conducted by the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue Criminal Investigation Division. According to documents filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court, Cho also failed to file and pay unincorporated franchise taxes for tax years 2006 and 2007. In total the delinquent tax amounts total more than $100,000, plus penalties, interest and possible fines.
If found guilty, for each charge, Cho could face up to 180 days imprisonment and a criminal fines of $5,000, plus full restitution and court costs.
OTR encourages individuals to report tax fraud by calling the toll-free Tax Fraud Hotline at 1-800-380-3495 or by sending an email to TaxFraudHotline@dc.gov.