Grill At Harryman House Owner Pleads Guilty To $2.8 Million In Federal Tax Violations


The Grill at Harryman House in Reisterstown. (Credit: Google/ Google Maps)

REISTERSTOWN - A prominent restaurant owner from Owings Mills, admitted to significant tax violations, the Justice Department announced on Thursday.

According to court records, John H. Worthington systematically failed to file required federal tax forms or pay due employment taxes for over a decade, leading to an estimated tax debt of around $2.8 million.

Since 1995, Worthington has owned and managed The Grill at Harryman House restaurant, withholding income and FICA taxes from his employees' paychecks as required. However, according to the Justice Department, from 2010 to 2021, he neglected to file or pay the corresponding taxes to the IRS.

Court proceedings revealed that Worthington diverted business funds for personal expenses, such as a golf club membership, Baltimore Orioles season tickets, lavish international holidays, and salaries for him and his wife, rather than fulfilling his tax obligations.

Moreover, the Justice Department stated that Worthington falsely declared $24,207 in federal income tax withholdings from his wages on his joint 2016 personal tax return, which led to an undeserved $9,096 refund. If the withholdings had been reported accurately, he would have been liable for $15,111.

Court records reveal that Worthington has also been non-compliant in filing both his personal income taxes from 2017 to 2021 and corporate tax returns from 2016 to 2021. During this period, the restaurant, which generated over $15 million in gross receipts, continued to provide him with wages and compensation.

Worthington faces up to five years in prison for willfully failing to account for and pay over the employment taxes and another three years for filing a false tax return. He could be subject to supervised release, financial penalties, and mandatory restitution.

The case, which was announced by Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron for the District of Maryland, is being investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant Chief Jorge Almonte and Trial Attorney Matthew L. Cofer of the Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean R. Delaney of the District of Maryland.

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