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High Point Businessman Pleads Guilty in State Tax Case

Raleigh, NC

A High Point businessman pleaded guilty Friday in Wake County Superior Court to felony tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Paul Robert Riggan, 48, of 305 Cascade Drive, High Point, pleaded guilty on January 18, 2019 to three counts of Embezzlement of State Property and three counts of Embezzlement of Guilford County property.

Superior Court Judge Carl Fox sentenced Riggan to a 16-month minimum, 29-month maximum prison term.  The sentence was suspended and as a condition of probation, Riggan was ordered to serve 90-days in the custody of Guilford County Detention Center.  Riggan was also placed on supervised probation for 36 months, ordered to pay a $20,000 criminal fine and complete 100 hours of community service work.  Riggan paid $194,239.84 in restitution prior to court.

Information presented in court showed that Riggan, owner and responsible person of Gate City Catering, LLC, doing business as Blue Water Grille, and Blue Bourbon Jack’s, Soho Food Group, LLC doing business as Lulu and Blu, and Blue Rock Pizza and Tap, LLC, aided and abetted the business entities to embezzle, misapply, and convert to their own use $194,239.84 in North Carolina and Guilford County sales tax during the period August 1, 2012 through January 20, 2016. During this period of time, Riggan was the responsible person of the corporation and was under a duty to collect, hold in trust, and remit North Carolina State Sales Taxes to the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

The charges against Riggan resulted from an investigation by special agents with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Section in Raleigh, and was prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions attorneys in the office of the Attorney General.