Maryland Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty to Employment and Other Tax Crimes

John H. Worthington, the owner of The Grill at Harryman House restaurant in Owings Mills, Maryland, has pleaded guilty to willful failure to account for and pay over employment taxes and to filing a false personal tax return.

The Details

  • Worthington owned and operated The Grill at Harryman House restaurant since 1995.
  • According to court documents and statements, Worthington failed to pay over $1 million in employment taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and failed to file personal income tax returns for the years 2014 through 2017.
  • Worthington also filed a false personal income tax return for the year 2013, in which he underreported his income by approximately $290,000.
  • As part of his guilty plea, Worthington agreed to pay restitution to the IRS for $1,064,290.

The Consequences

  • Worthington faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
  • He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 26, 2023.

The Context

  • This case is part of the IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Employment Tax National Research Program, which focuses on employment tax noncompliance.
  • The program uses data analysis to identify non-compliance areas and develop leads for potential criminal investigations.

The Takeaway

  • Restaurants and other business owners must adequately account for and pay over-employment taxes to the IRS.
  • Failure to do so can result in criminal charges and significant financial penalties.
  • The IRS-Criminal Investigation is actively targeting employment tax noncompliance, and business owners should ensure that they comply with all tax laws and regulations.

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