Bucks County bar and restaurant owners charged with tax offenses

Kopper Kettle Bar and Restaurant’s Stephen Eckler and Robert Yost did not report $236,640 in cash wages paid to dishwasher employees from 2012-2016

United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Stephen Eckler, 68, of Ivyland, and Robert Yost, 52, of Southampton, were charged by Information with willful failure to pay employment taxes.

The information alleges that Eckler and Yost, owners of the Kopper Kettle Bar and Restaurant, located in Feasterville, did not report $263,640 in cash wages that they paid to dishwasher employees at the Kopper Kettle Bar and Restaurant during the period March 2012 through at least September 2016.

As a result of this practice, defendants Eckler and Yost failed to properly collect and pay over employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, including Social Security Tax and Medicare Tax, commonly referred to as “FICA” taxes, and federal income tax withholdings.

“Our tax system requires businesspeople to truthfully report the wages paid to their employees,” said McSwain. “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. My office will aggressively pursue businesspeople who operate in such an illegal manner.”

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and full restitution paid to the IRS.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard P. Barrett.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.