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October 01, 2019

Bucks County bar owners hit with tax charges for allegedly paying dishwashers under the table

Investigations Tax Fraud
Kopper Kettle @kopperkettle/Facebook

The Kopper Kettle Tavern is located at 1985 Bridgetown Pike in Feasterville-Trevose, Pennsylvania. The restaurant's owners are facing federal tax charges after the allegedly failed to report employee wages.

The owners of the Kopper Kettle Tavern, in Feasterville, are facing federal tax charges after they allegedly failed to collect and pay employment taxes to the IRS, prosecutors said.

Owners Stephen Eckler, 68, of Ivyland, and Robert Yost, 52, of Southampton, allegedly did not report $263,340 in cash wages to dishwashers between March 2012 and September 2016. Failure to report these wages allowed the restaurant to avoid paying FICA taxes, which include Social Security and Medicare taxes, authorities said.

"Our tax system requires businesspeople to truthfully report the wages paid to their employees," U.S. Attorney William McSwain said. "The defendants' practice of paying their employees in cash, concealing this from the IRS, and failing to collect and pay federal employment taxes, undermines the integrity of the federal income tax system and harms those who play by the rules."

Eckler and Yost, if convicted, could face up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and full restitution to the IRS.

"My office will aggressively pursue businesspeople who operate in such an illegal manner," McSwain said.