Attorney: Former Latitude 360 owner could face stiff financial penalties if convicted

Brent Brown is facing 17 counts of failing to pay the IRS payroll taxes from his employees at Latitude 360. One lawyer said Brown could also be looking at some big financial penalties if he’s found guilty. “Failing businesses, one of the first places they’ll try to cut corners is maybe paying taxes because it takes a little while for this to kind of percolate to the top,” said attorney Randy Reep, who is not associated with the case.

Brent Brown is facing 17 counts of failing to pay the IRS payroll taxes from his employees at Latitude 360.

One lawyer said Brown could also be looking at some big financial penalties if he’s found guilty.

“Failing businesses, one of the first places they’ll try to cut corners is maybe paying taxes because it takes a little while for this to kind of percolate to the top,” said attorney Randy Reep, who is not associated with the case.

Reep says we typically see this towards the end of the business.

Latitude 360 opened in Jacksonville in early 2011, originally called Latitude 30.

It was an entertainment complex near the Avenues mall.

The business was closed in January 2016.

According to the indictment, payroll taxes weren’t paid for employees here in Jacksonville, as well as at three Latitude 360 locations around the country

Over two years, prosecutors say there were more than $1 million in taxes owed.

“There were people who were legitimately hurt to include, frankly, all taxpayers because think about that the 17 failures to withhold tax was a tax that you and I and all your viewers have had to pay” Reep said. “But he didn’t pay on behalf of his 17 employees, notwithstanding he took it out of their paychecks.”

In 2018, Brown was charged in Duval County with failing to send sales taxes to the state. He later pleaded guilty and was given probation.

On Friday, Brown had his first appearance down in Ft. Lauderdale.

He has another hearing on the 19th.

Reep explained how Brown will try to defend himself.

“You’ll typically see in a lot of these defenses is ‘Hey, I wasn’t a very good businessman,’ is different than having what we call the man’s rea, or the intent to commit a crime,” Brown said.

With the announcement of the indictment, former Jacksonville Latitude 360 employees took to Facebook saying, “It’s about time”.

“And the federal government is going to want the money that he failed to withhold provided back to the federal government to make coal,” Reep said. “So he’s looking at some big financial penalties as well, if convicted.”


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