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Owner Of Shuttered Wedding Venue ReBar Pleads Guilty To Grand Larceny, Tax Fraud Charges

Jason Stevens leaves court on May 22, 2014. (credit: CBS 2)

Jason Stevens leaves court on May 22, 2014. (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The owner of a popular Brooklyn catering hall that abruptly closed, leaving dozens of couples without a wedding venue, has pleaded guilty to tax fraud and grand larceny charges in an unrelated case.

Jason Stevens, the owner of reBar, pleaded guilty Thursday. As part of a plea deal, he faces three and a third to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced July 21.

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.

Dozens of soon-to-be brides and grooms said they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits after reBar suddenly closed in May. ReBar had 200 weddings and events booked through 2016.

ReBar Owner Pleads Guilty To Grand Larceny, Tax Fraud Charges

rebar closed 0509 Owner Of Shuttered Wedding Venue ReBar Pleads Guilty To Grand Larceny, Tax Fraud Charges
WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reports

The 37 employees of reBar said they received only a short email from Stevens when the venue shut down with the subject line, “reBar is bankrupt and closed.”

Several couples confronted Stevens outside Brooklyn Supreme Court on Thursday, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

“It’s satisfying to know he’s going to get some jail time, but it’s not justice for us, it’s justice for the state,” said one man, who says he put down a nearly $20,000 deposit.

“This is partially cathartic because I get to scream at him a little bit,” another woman said.

Stevens had no comment Thursday, Haskell reported. He is currently not facing any charges related to the couples.

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