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Cottage Grove Business Owner Sentenced For Tax Scheme

A Cottage Grove man has been sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay $873,000 in restitution for what the prosecution said was a scheme to keep his family business afloat by stealing tax money.

The Eugene Register-Guard reports that 66-year-old William Meyers ran Side Pocket Foods, which buys bulk alcohol and distilled spirits and bottles and blends them. It also operates a warehouse to store alcoholic beverages before shipment.

Court documents show the company borrowed $2 million in 2007 to expand, but revenues tanked when the recession hit in 2008.

The prosecution says Meyers used money from his customers that was intended for federal excise taxes to keep the company going.

He was sentenced Tuesday. He had pleaded guilty to filing a false excise tax return.

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