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Cortland restaurant, bar owners plead guilty to tax evasion

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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The owners of three Cortland businesses seen in this photo have pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud. George Seibel of Homer and Anthony Caruso of Cortland are the owners of Dark Horse Tavern (seen on the right), Hairy Tony’s (next to Dark Horse Tavern), and A Pizza & More (next to Hairy Tony’s) on Main Street in downtown Cortland, per a Monday news release from the New York State Attorney General’s office. (Photo credit: zoeyadvertising.com)

CORTLAND, N.Y. — The owners of some Cortland–area bars and restaurants have pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud for underreporting more than $4 million in taxable sales.

George Seibel, 60, of Homer, and Anthony Caruso, 60, of Cortland, as well as the parent companies of their respective businesses — Dark Horse Tavern; A Pizza & More; Hairy Tony’s; and Dasher’s Corner Pub — pleaded guilty, New York State Attorney General Letitia James said in a Monday news release.

As part of their pleas, the defendants repaid the state more than $479,000 that they owed.

A joint investigation by the Office of Attorney General (OAG) and the Department of Taxation and Finance revealed that — between 2010 and 2015 — Seibel and Caruso collectively underreported a total of more than $4 million in taxable sales and failed to remit over $475,000 in sales tax collected from their six different restaurants and bars throughout Cortland and Onondaga counties, per the release.