County restaurant owners plead guilty to tax fraud

A picture on Main St. in Cortland, New York. In the photo are the Dark Horse Tavern, Hairy Tony’s, and A Pizza and More.

 

CORTLAND — Two Cortland County restaurant owners pled guilty to tax fraud last week, the New York state Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Taxation and Finance announced Monday.

George Seibel, 60, of Homer, and Anthony Caruso, 60, of Cortland, owner of six bars and restaurants in Cortland and Onondaga Counties, underreported more than $4 million in taxable sales between 2010 and 2015.

Seibel owns Dark Horse Tavern in Cortland and Dasher’s Corner Pub in Homer, while Caruso owns Hairy Tony’s Pub in Cortland. Seibel and Caruso are co-owners of a regional pizzeria chain known as A Pizza and More in Cortland, Homer and Tully.

Officials said tax evasion occurred at each of the six businesses. As part of their plea, Seibel and Caruso paid nearly $500,000 ($479,203.03) they owed to the state.

Seibel and Caruso’s case came to an end in Cortland County court this past Friday. Seibel pled guilty two counts of fifth-degree tax fraud for his failure to forward tax sales from APAM, LLC and Dark Horse Tavern, and Caruso pled guilty for the same reason with APAM and Hairy Tony’s.

The owners also pled guilty to one count of fifth-degree tax fraud through Academy Avenue Enterprises and Anthony Caruso, LLC pertaining to Dark Horse Tavern and Hairy Tony’s, respectively.

Seibel and Caruso were both sentenced to one-year conditional discharges, officials said.

APAM back in December 2019 pled guilty to third-degree tax fraud. Also in December 2019, Seibel and James & Main, LLC pled guilty to fifth-degree tax fraud in their failure to submit sales tax payment from Dasher’s Corner Pub, with Seibel also sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge.

All sales tax owed were paid in full, officials said.