Local Businessman Convicted of State Tax Charges

Date: 10/16/2003

RALEIGH – A Raleigh nightclub owner pleaded guilty Thursday to felony tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Gregory B. Dent, 36, of 116 Northbrook Drive, Raleigh, pleaded guilty to eight counts of aiding and abetting the embezzlement of $22,818.92 in North Carolina and Wake County sales taxes and eight counts of attempting to evade and defeat North Carolina and Wake County sales taxes from Jan. 1, 1999 through April 15, 2002. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting the embezzlement of $12,353.06 in North Carolina and Durham County sales taxes from Jan. 1, 2002 through May 15, 2002.

The state's evidence showed that Dent was president of Easy Street Bistro, Inc., which was operating a nightclub under the name ‘Raleigh Live’ at 119 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. He was also the managing member of The Dent Group, which operated a Durham nightclub.

Superior Court Judge J.B. Allen, Jr. sentenced Dent to four, consecutive 19-month minimum, 23-month maximum prison terms. The sentences were suspended and Dent was placed on supervised probation for three years. He was further ordered to serve a 30-day active sentence as a special condition of probation. Dent must also perform 50 hours of community service and pay a $9,000 criminal fine. He was ordered to pay $35,171.98 in restitution to the North Carolina Department of Revenue and must timely file and remit all future taxes due.

The charges against Dent resulted from an investigation by a field auditor in the Department of Revenue's Raleigh Examinations Office and a special agent with the Department's Criminal Investigations Division.

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