Former Kent bar owner receives prison sentence for tax evasion of $800,000

A former Kent bar owner received an eight-month prison sentence last Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle and must pay $800,000 in restitution for multiple misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns.

Eric M. Galanti, 41, of Olympia, who owned Bourbon Jacks (aka Poppas Pub or Charlies Pub), 510 Washington Ave. N., also must serve one year of supervised release, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office media release. In addition to the Kent bar, Galanti owned Alki Crab & Fish restaurant and the Admiral Pub, each in West Seattle. Bourbon Jacks, which was a country bar, has closed.

Galanti failed to file his business and personal tax returns between 2006 and 2012 while living a lavish lifestyle.

“He) enjoyed the lifestyle of the ‘rich and famous,’… but every single year when April 15 rolled around a light had to come on that you owed taxes…. This was a flagrant and ongoing offense,” said U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones at the sentencing.

According to records filed in the case, the lengthy investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division found that Galanti’s businesses were generating significant revenues, but he failed to keep accurate records. Bank records show two of the restaurants had deposits of more than $7.7 million between 2006 and 2011.

While he failed to file and pay his taxes, Galanti enjoyed a lavish lifestyle as he used forged tax documents to facilitate his purchase of a $400,000 yacht; took expensive trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas and the Caribbean; and paid more than $10,000 for Kenny Chesney concert tickets.

“As we approach tax day, Mr. Galanti’s sentence reminds us of our legal obligation to file complete and accurate tax returns with the IRS. Today (April 14), Mr. Galanti, who willfully failed to pay $800,000 in taxes, learned the consequences of neglecting his duty as an American and as a small business owner,” said special agent in charge Darrell Waldon of IRS Criminal Investigation, in a April 14 media release. “Instead of paying taxes, Mr. Galanti rewarded himself with lavish vacations and a new yacht. His decision to ignore his civic responsibilities caught up with him.”