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Augusta catering company investigated for alcohol sales

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The Georgia Department of Revenue is investigating an Augusta catering company on charges of selling alcohol and transporting alcohol across state lines.

Agents from the department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Division went to Roux’s Catering Service on Jones Street on Thursday and told owner Robert Williams he was under investigation for buying alcohol in North Augusta, then bringing it into Georgia and selling it to patrons of his catering service, according to the department’s incident report.

Agents conducted surveillance of Williams’ work vehicles to determine when the alcohol was brought from South Carolina to Williams’ downtown Augusta office building, according to the report.

Williams told agents that he would sell alcohol to patrons as part of his catering package and that it was less expensive to buy in South Carolina.

The business has neither a liquor license nor any special permits that would allow Williams to possess or sell alcoholic beverages.

Agents told Williams that he was not paying Georgia taxes on the alcoholic items, which he was then selling for business purposes. They told him a criminal warrant might be issued for his arrest.

More than 50 different types of alcohol, including 600 Bud Light and 470 Coors Light beer cans, were seized from the business.

Williams said he is openly working with the revenue department and called the issue a “misunderstanding on our side.”

Williams said he misinterpreted the law’s requirements when it came to having the proper permits in order for purchasing alcohol.

“In no way will it affect our day-to-day operations,” he said. “We haven’t skipped a beat, and we don’t plan to skip a beat.”

Williams opened his catering service in 1996.

“When you’ve been in business 17 years, you’re bound to have a run-in with somebody,” he said.

Williams said he looks forward to a “speedy resolution to the investigation.”

A Georgia Department of Revenue representative refused to comment on the case.

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Mrswkc2001
67
Points
Mrswkc2001 03/19/13 - 03:49 pm
10
0
Seriously?

He has been in business for 17 years and "he misinterpreted the law’s requirements when it came to having the proper permits in order for purchasing alcohol?" Sure he did. He just got caught.

thauch12
6857
Points
thauch12 03/19/13 - 03:55 pm
6
4
The better question is who

The better question is who cares? Go fight some real crime folks.

billcass
806
Points
billcass 03/19/13 - 04:05 pm
5
3
Phew

Glad all the real crime is gone so we concentrate on this.

Bgibson922
14
Points
Bgibson922 03/19/13 - 04:33 pm
8
3
Last I checked the Georgia Department of Revenue

Last I checked the Georgia Department of Revenue doesn't fight crime. They are in the business of Revenue.

triscuit
3155
Points
triscuit 03/19/13 - 04:56 pm
6
1
I can assure you he is not

I can assure you he is not the only Augusta business running over the bridge to NA to buy booze. They tote it out of one particular business there by the cart full. Fine the guy and move on.

allhans
24009
Points
allhans 03/19/13 - 05:23 pm
5
3
come on folks. Breaking the

come on folks. Breaking the law should not to be taken so lightly.
So "johnny hit me first"...that makes it okay?

bubbasauce
22130
Points
bubbasauce 03/19/13 - 05:33 pm
5
2
Seems to me these items have

Seems to me these items have a lot of time on their hands.

karradur
2871
Points
karradur 03/19/13 - 06:10 pm
3
2
The 1920's called.

They want their Prohibition back.

Young Fred
17860
Points
Young Fred 03/19/13 - 08:29 pm
5
1
"He has been in business for

"He has been in business for 17 years and "he misinterpreted the law’s requirements..."

Spoken like someone who's never run a business.

I'm not condoning what the man did, I suspect he knew it wasn't kosher. But you show me a business owner that clearly understands the overabundance of laws and regulations they must follow when operating a business, and I'll show you a rare individual.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 03/19/13 - 10:42 pm
7
0
Liquor sales laws are pretty
Unpublished

Liquor sales laws are pretty clear and easily understood. He knew exactly what he was doing or is an idiot.

Georgialina
7441
Points
Georgialina 03/19/13 - 11:29 pm
6
0
The third rail

Playing loose with liquor laws is the third rail on the subway tracks. If you touch it you die. I hold no ill will toward Robert but we all know the law and when we choose to do the right thing, it shows character. My question is if he misunderstood then why did he pay almost $5000 in cash for the booze? If I am spending money for my company, I want to use a check or credit card so I can prove a paper trail if questioned. Cash...not so much of a trail.

mdl1946
1080
Points
mdl1946 03/19/13 - 11:35 pm
5
0
He knew what he was doing,

He knew what he was doing, cheating!. And got caught.

Austin Rhodes
2907
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/19/13 - 11:41 pm
3
1
Rob Sherman said on Channel 6 tonight...

...that Roux's has not had a liquor license...ever. General rule of thumb in "fines"...you never pay less than what you skipped out on.

5k a year x 17 years = 85k (licenses alone)
+
3% of the value of every single drink he has poured in 17 years

Lord help him.

oldenoughtoknowbetter
15
Points
oldenoughtoknowbetter 03/20/13 - 03:31 am
0
0
Speak Easy
Unpublished

Isn't that why they shut the Speak Easy Operations in the prohibition days? This guy owes a bunch of taxes and fines. Right at Master's time is a busy time for him. If I had a hot dog stand downtown, is it alright to sell cold beer from my ice chest? Is ignorance and excuse for breaking the law?

nocnoc
45017
Points
nocnoc 03/20/13 - 08:52 am
2
1
The TAX Man's fails my Logic test

Looking at it from a personal standard.
I purchase GAS in SC to avoid the 10 to 14 cents in higher taxes.
I use SC cheaper, but taxed GAS mainly in GA.

So will the Tax Man also be visiting me for a Tax violation?

nocnoc
45017
Points
nocnoc 03/20/13 - 08:59 am
3
0
We are a Free Market country

The prices are dictated by Supply and demand.

Wouldn't it be nice if States (& AUGUSTA) competed also in the same way? Lower taxes or balanced taxes.

Every dollar spend in a local store generates more Local Tax dollars.

But every dollar collected only in increased taxes, STOP's the money from being re-circulated.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 03/20/13 - 09:15 am
4
0
If someone shows me where a

If someone shows me where a majority or even a significant amount of local operations circumvent the requirement to license-up for liquor sales, I would be sympathetic. Otherwise, this caterer is doing business with an unfair advantage over his competitors. I could care less about the State's revenue. If the business is doing legit business within the laws, then I've no problems here.

justthefacts
22728
Points
justthefacts 03/20/13 - 09:26 am
5
0
nocnoc

The difference is you use the gas purchased in SC. You don't resale it. David Parker nailed it.

itsanotherday1
45435
Points
itsanotherday1 03/20/13 - 10:23 am
4
0
Like others said, fine him

Like others said, fine him for the taxes and fees owed plus penalties; and move on. This isn't the crime of the century. It isn't like he stole from a charity, took a bribe as a public official or something...

Does anyone know if he was actually selling it by the drink? If so, he definitely should (and did) know better. It might be a little less clear if he just included it in the catering fee.

SPARKSTER83
259
Points
SPARKSTER83 03/20/13 - 11:42 am
0
0
With the crime in Richmond
Unpublished

With the crime in Richmond County you would think they would have bigger fish to fry!!!!Let that poor man be and go catch some real criminals.

Riverman1
86973
Points
Riverman1 03/20/13 - 06:01 pm
1
0
I doubt a caterer would be

I doubt a caterer would be selling alcohol by the drink. It's one of the complications of doing business in a two state metro area. Not forgiving him, but just saying.

I'm Back Again
307
Points
I'm Back Again 03/20/13 - 11:32 pm
0
0
And imagine how bad it would
Unpublished

And imagine how bad it would have been if he had sold a beer to the 5 hoboes on the train yesterday. He could've made the front page of the AC too. They made that seem like the crime of the year. Who even uses the word hoboes anymore???

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 03/21/13 - 09:39 am
1
0
If he'd paid for a license in

If he'd paid for a license in SC then I could see that side of it. Paying-in to neither state doesn't leave me much choice though.

Bgibson922
14
Points
Bgibson922 03/21/13 - 03:33 pm
1
0
The alcohol paid for at my

The alcohol paid for at my wedding was based on consumption. I paid for my food and the venue before the wedding. The alcohol bill, totally separate was paid the night of my wedding. It was supposed to be by the glass but ended up being by the bottle (for wine).

Riverman1
86973
Points
Riverman1 03/22/13 - 07:05 am
0
0
Whiskey Rebellion

Why should alcohol be taxed?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 03/22/13 - 08:29 am
0
0
agreed

agreed

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