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Lotawata Creek owners plead guilty to income tax conspiracy


From Illinois Business Journal news services

EAST ST. LOUIS — Lotawata Creek Inc., d/b/a Lotawata Creek Southern Grill in Fairview Heights, and two brothers who own it pleaded guilty in federal district court today to a conspiracy to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service in the assessment and collection of federal income taxes, federal authorities said.

Rodney Archer, 50, and Kenneth Archer, 52, each face a total maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years supervised release, plus mandatory restitution. The corporation faces a maximum sentence of a fine of $500,000, restitution and five years of probation. Sentencing is scheduled for July 15, James L. Porter, acting United States attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced.

As part of their pleas of guilty, the Archers and the restaurant company admitted that from beginning in 2010, through about July 2015, they altered and manipulated the information in the restaurant’s point of sale system to lower the reported cash sales and then removed the corresponding amount of cash from the business prior to being deposited and reported as gross receipts.

That action had the effect of lowering the total gross receipts reported on the tax returns and thereby lowered the total taxable income reported to the IRS, Porter said.

Lotawata Creek, Inc. was incorporated in Missouri and is registered as a foreign corporation in Illinois beginning on Feb. 1, 1996. Lotawata Creek, Inc. operates a popular restaurant located on Salem Place in Fairview Heights. Kenneth Archer is the president of the company, and Rodney Archer is the vice president.

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service/Criminal Investigations. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.

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