A popular Metro East restaurant and its owners face federal penalties following a guilty plea to tax charges in U.S. District Court.   Rodney and Kenneth Archer, and their business Lotawata Creek Inc. in Fairview Heights, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct the IRS in the assessment and collection of federal taxes.  Sentencing is set for July 15.

As of Thursday, the restaurant remained open.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Southern Illinois announced the guilty plea on Thursday.  The Archer brothers admitted that beginning in 2010 through in or about July 2015, they altered and manipulated the information in the restaurant’s point of sale system to lower the reported cash sales and then removed the corresponding amount of cash from the business prior to being deposited and reported as gross receipts.  This had the effect of lowering the total gross receipts reported on the tax returns and thus lowered the total taxable income reported to the IRS.  It’s not known how much income was kept off the tax records.  The Archers face up to five years each in prison, a $250,000 fine and probation.  Lotawata Creek also faces a fine of up to $500,000, restitution and probation.

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