Nick Cho's Tax Troubles: Where Does That Leave Chinatown Coffee?

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.
bernie

#1: Post by bernie » Oct 28, 2009, 3:07 am

Ouch. http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blog ... wn-coffee/
Washington City Paper wrote:Nick Cho's arrest today on 82 counts of tax fraud not only spells trouble for the former Murky Coffee owner, but also, potentially, for his current place of employment, Chinatown Coffee Co, where Cho oversees operations.

After all, Cho faces 180 days in jail for each count. That's more than 40 years behind bars if convicted and sentenced on all counts.

(cont'd)

User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#2: Post by another_jim » Oct 28, 2009, 2:19 pm

I've been reading the various blogs and local reports on this:

Chinatown Coffee started out as Wrecking Ball Coffee in April, and was supposed to be a transplant of Nick's Arlington Cafe with Trish Skele as the listed owner, and most of the staff staying intact.

By July this had morphed into:
Max Brown, former general counsel to the District's Chief Financial Officer and current co-owner of Chinatown Coffee Co., where Cho is serving an interim general manager.
Now Max Brown says Nick is merely a consultant training the real manager, Travis Edwards; and will leave November 1st.

Visitor comments in the blogs are still referring to the incident when Nick threatened to punch out a Frou-Frou latte drinker. The memory echoes in the blogosphere, and commentators smugly see karmic payback in his continuing tax troubles.

Perhaps Nick has fallen victim to a DC disease: poor damage control; or perhaps, tax dodging or coffee snobbery alone can be forgiven, but not both together. Either way, it now seems impossible for Nick to own or run a cafe in the DC area for the time being.
Jim Schulman

portamento

#3: Post by portamento » Oct 28, 2009, 3:13 pm

Washington City Paper wrote:Cho faces 180 days in jail for each count. That's more than 40 years behind bars if convicted and sentenced on all counts.
Am I missing something? Sounds like Murky couldn't keep up with its finances and dodged taxes in order to stay open, at least until the IRS caught up with them.

Now, I understand that this is bad and tax-cheaters must be penalized. However 40 years is just a jaw-dropper. It's not like Nick Cho is Bernie Madoff. He's just a passionate barista that probably lacked the maturity to own his own shop.

Is there more to the story? Any lawyers want to comment on what constitutes tax fraud and how you can accumulate 82 counts in just a few short years of operating a coffee shop?
Ryan

User avatar
timo888

#4: Post by timo888 » Oct 28, 2009, 5:25 pm

portamento wrote: Any lawyers want to comment on what constitutes tax fraud and how you can accumulate 82 counts in just a few short years of operating a coffee shop?
You don't need to be a lawyer. Here's an indictment, and others could be found by googling.

Every discrete act that is alleged to be a defrauding of the US Treasury can be treated as a separate count, if I understand correctly.