Friday, February 03, 2023
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Taxpayers Rescue Georgia Business Whose Manager Blew $300,000 on Strip Clubs



American taxpayers had to save a Georgia restaurant after its now former manager spent more than $300,000 in company money indulging himself at strip clubs.

That former manager, Scott Spilberg, managed the Roswell, Georgia-based Houck’s Grille starting in August 2020. Roswell is 25 miles north of Atlanta.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, published Thursday, described Spilberg’s misdeeds.

“Beginning in October 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spilberg began using his company issued debit card to pay for his visits to two adult entertainment clubs,” the press release said.

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“Ultimately, he visited the clubs more than 50 times during an 11-month period, charging over $300,000 to the company debit card.  The loss of this money caused a significant hardship to the restaurant and threatened the livelihood of its 40 employees and forced it to borrow COVID-relief funds to stay in business.”

In September, Spilberg was convicted on federal charges of embezzling more than $300,000 from his prior employer. He was later sentenced to two years and six months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The federal court also ordered that he pay more than $300,000 in restitution.

This sort of thing has happened elsewhere.

Last August, officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York charged a Buffalo businessman, Brian A. Smith, with wire fraud. Smith received two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and one Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), meant to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 epidemic.

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To get that taxpayer money, Smith allegedly submitted false documentation and false tax returns meant to misrepresent his income, federal attorneys said in a separate press release.

“Smith personally received approximately $119,633.00 in EIDL and PPP loans, which he deposited into bank accounts that he controlled,” federal attorneys said.

“The funds were ultimately used for personal expenditures at adult entertainment clubs, hotels, restaurants, cash withdrawals, and on retail goods.”

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