Man sentenced in meals tax case

Published 10:05 pm Friday, October 25, 2019

A Virginia Beach man was sentenced last week on six charges of failing to pay meals taxes for a Suffolk restaurant he formerly owned.

Ravneet Singh was the former owner of the Firehouse Subs franchise at 6255 College Drive, according to Suffolk Deputy Treasurer Keith Ainsley. Warrants were issued in January 2019 after the treasurer’s office learned, through a seizure order on the doors from shopping center management, that the restaurant was closed.

Singh owed $17,509.48 for July through December 2018, Ainsley stated.


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Suffolk restaurateurs are required to charge their customers a 6.5-percent city tax on food and drinks served in their establishments. They hold that tax until the 20th of every month, when they are required to turn over to the city the amount due from the prior month.

When restaurants do not comply with turning over the taxes they have collected from their customers, a variety of collection actions can ensue, up to and including criminal charges.

Singh pleaded guilty to six charges. A seventh charge was not prosecuted, because it was determined he was not in business during that month, Ainsley stated.

Singh was sentenced to 60 days in jail, which will be suspended if he pays restitution as agreed — at least $480 per month. He will also be on six years of probation.