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NYC Wedding Venue Owner Who Stiffed Couples Gets Prison

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    The owner of a popular Brooklyn restaurant that closed abruptly and left dozens of couples without a wedding venue was sentenced Monday to up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud and grand larceny. Roseanne Colletti reports. (Published Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014)

    The owner of a popular Brooklyn restaurant that closed abruptly and left dozens of couples without a wedding venue was sentenced Monday to up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud and grand larceny.

    Jason Stevens, the owner of reBar, pleaded guilty to the charges last month. As part of a plea deal, he was sentenced to three and a third to 10 years in prison.

    NYC Wedding Venue Owner Ordered to Pay Back Couples

    [NY] NYC Wedding Venue Owner Ordered to Pay Back Couples
    The owner of a popular Brooklyn restaurant that closed abruptly and left dozens couples without a wedding venue has pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Thursday, Jun 12, 2014)

    "I have nothing left to give but an apology. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry," Stevens said in court. 

    Wedding Venue Owner Arrested on Tax Fraud Charges

    [NY] Wedding Venue Owner Arrested on Tax Fraud Charges
    The owner of a Brooklyn wedding venue that abruptly shut down last week after allegedly becoming bankrupt has been arrested on multiple tax fraud charges, authorities say. Checkey Beckford reports. (Published Thursday, May 15, 2014)

    He's also been ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution, to be split among the nearly 100 couples who were shut out of the weddings they'd paid for at reBar when the venue closed without warning in May. 

    His lawyer, Allan Bahn, has said the 41-year-old Stevens is "taking responsibility."

    Brooklyn Wedding Venue Chained, Locked, Leaving Couples Scrambling

    [NY] Brooklyn Wedding Venue Chained, Locked, Leaving Couples Scrambling
    A Brooklyn wedding venue that has hosted hundreds of nuptials in its DUMBO space has told its employees that the gastropub is "closed and bankrupt," sending brides and grooms scrambling. News 4's Sheldon Dutes has more. (Published Friday, May 9, 2014)

    In addition to stiffing couples out of their wedding money, prosecutors say he stole about $200,000 in sales tax collected between 2009 and 2012 and failed to collect more than $1 million in taxes on the business the same period. 

    Newlywed Camille Hlavka, of Astoria, was in the Brooklyn courtroom as Stevens was sentenced. She says she lost $18,000 to him and ended up shelling out about that much for her July 12 wedding. She says she and her husband will probably never recover the money Stevens owes under the state-imposed restitution settlement, but believes justice was at least partially served by his sentencing. 

    Another jilted couple, Jennifer Cabrera and Kitoh Grey, said they could only afford a small wedding in Central Park after losing their $13,000 deposit to Stevens, but are looking forward. They said seeing him being led away in handcuffs at least brought some sort of closure. 

    "We got married, we had a perfect day," said Grey. "We're moving on with our lives and whatever he wants to do with his life, it doesn't affect us anymore."