Prison for Tax-Cheating Food Retailer

The owner of two grocery stores here and in Bethesda, Md., was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison last week for failure to collect and pay payroll taxes, according to a statement by the Department of Justice.

WASHINGTON — The owner of two grocery stores here and in Bethesda, Md., was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison last week for failure to collect and pay payroll taxes, according to a statement by the Department of Justice. Stephen B. Cohen, who owned Washington Park Gourmet here and Western Market in Bethesda, had pleaded guilty in March to charges that he failed to collect and pay more than $500,000 in payroll and sales taxes at the Washington Park Gourmet store and to withholding payroll taxes at the Bethesda store for 16 years but not paying them. He also violated other tax laws, the DOJ said. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said the imprisonment was "necessary for a deterrent effect."

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