GR bar owner headed to prison for tax fraud

Farah's in Grand Rapids. (December 2016)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — One of the owners of three Grand Rapids bars who admitted to skimming from the businesses to avoid paying taxes will have to pay the government tens of thousands of dollars in restitution.

In a federal courtroom in Kalamazoo on Wednesday, Brian Farah was sentenced to 13 months in prison followed by a year of supervised release. He’ll also have to pay a $5,000 fine and $15,846.25 in restitution.

Authorities say Farah and his father, Michael Farah, tried to hide income from their three bars — Farah’s, Kuzzin’s and Drake’s — by deleting hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales records over two years. Those sales were never reported in their taxes, so they didn’t have to send as much money to the government.

Brian Farah pleaded guilty in December 2016 to interfering with tax law and Michael Farah pleaded guilty to a federal tax fraud charge last month. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in July.

The conviction could put their liquor licenses in jeopardy.

Father and son had proposed an expansion for Farah’s. The city planning director previously told 24 Hour News 8 that even if the Farahs lose their licenses, the project could still go through if a new owner takes it on.