Rowdy Beaver owner sentenced to 3 years in federal prison
A Eureka Springs restaurant owner was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution after pleading guilty to failing to pay federal payroll taxes.
Rodney Minner, 62, of Eureka Springs also was sentenced to three years of supervised released. He is required to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons by noon on Thursday, June 20.
U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes sentenced Minner during a 26-minute hearing Tuesday morning in Harrison.
Minner, who owns the Rowdy Beaver at 417 W. Van Buren and the Rowdy Beaver Den & Tavern at 47 Spring St. in Eureka Springs, was indicted in April 2018 on 35 counts of willful failure to collect and pay over employment taxes over a four-year period from April 30, 2012, to April 30, 2016. The indictment listed the total tax loss for all 35 counts at $415,505.30.
According to the indictment, Minner’s restaurants in Eureka Springs, along with Rowdy Beaver restaurants he owned in Cassville and Branson, Mo., withheld payroll taxes from employees’ paychecks — including federal income tax withholdings and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes. The indictment charges that Minner failed to remit those taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
In October 2018, Minner agreed to plead guilty to a single count included in the indictment. The plea agreement stipulated that, including the amounts withheld from employees’ paychecks and the amount that he was responsible for as owner of the restaurants, the total amount of tax loss was within the range of $550,000 to $1.5 million.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed the remaining 34 counts against Minner.
Minner could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. His attorney, federal public defender James Pierce, did not return a call for comment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes, the prosecutor in the case, also did not return a call for comment.