BRUNSWICK, Ga. - The owner of a Brunswick restaurant faces up to a year in jail if he does not pay restitution to the state for taxes he collected and kept, the Georgia attorney general said.
Hugh Zeigler, owner of Zeig’s Café, north of Brunswick, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of conversion of funds collected for the benefit of the state, the attorney general said in a prepared release.
Zeigler had been charged with failure to pay state sales taxes, local sales taxes and withholding taxes between July 2004 and July 2009.
During much of that period, Zeigler did not forward the state and local sales taxes he collected at his business, the attorney general said.
His only payments were $583.33 in February 2004 and $30,000 for delinquent taxes in May 2009.
He was also charged with not remitting the state income taxes he withheld from the wages of Zeig’s employees between August 2005 and June 2009, the release says.
Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett Sr. sentenced Zeigler under the First Offender Act to 10 years probation and 200 hours of community service. If Zeigler does not pay restitution within five years, he must serve a year in a probation detention center, Scalett ordered.
The amount of restitution has yet to be determined, but the state contends Zeigler owes about $85,000 in unpaid taxes.