WASHINGTON (WRBL) – According to a news release, a co-owner of eight Georgia bars pled guilty to tax evasion.

Court records and testimony reveal William Britt engaged in a scheme to evade taxes owed to the IRS for income from bars he and others owned.

Although the bars have a nominal sole owner, Britt and others held control over each bar. Britt held specific percentages of ownership interest in entities, including Chrysha Inc., which operated a bar in Statesboro, Georgia, and BGRG Inc., a restaurant and bar in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Britt and the numerous owners of each establishment shared the bars’ profits by their respective ownership percentages.

Based on the news release, Britt provided falsified information to an accountant for the tax returns of some of the bars. Britt falsely reported the businesses’ actual ownership, downplayed the bars’ income, and excluded cash distributions to the owners.

Britt’s actions led the other owners and himself to file false tax returns with the IRS and pay less than their actual income tax liabilities.

Britt confessed to knowingly underreporting his income on his 2014 personal tax return.

Before Britt’s guilty plea, James Stafford, the nominally sole owner of Chyrsha Inc. and BGRG Inc., also pled guilty to tax evasion as part of Britt’s same scheme.

Britt faces a maximum of 5 years in federal prison, supervised release, restitution payments, and numerous monetary penalties.