PJ’s Cafe owner Jackie Norton will be placed on supervised probation next month after pleading guilty to three felony charges in Greenlee County Superior Court earlier this month.
Norton pleaded guilty to fraudulent schemes and artifices, failure to file transaction privilege tax returns and filing a false return.
According to court documents, Norton and the Arizona Department of Revenue came to an agreement and she will have to pay $181,992 in restitution “for all economic loss to all victims and/or victim’s insurance companies and or/financial carriers.”
In addition, she’ll have to cooperate in any audit process conducted by the Arizona Department of Revenue, pay all investigative costs to ADOR and a fine of $10,000.
Norton was indicted in October on more than one dozen felony charges because the Arizona Attorney General’s Office believed she failed to remit more than $181,000 in sales taxes over a six-year period.
According to a news release sent out in December, the Arizona Department of Revenue launched an investigation into Norton after an employee contacted them to ask about their tax refund.
The department said the investigation revealed Norton provided W-2s that reflected taxes withheld from the employee that were never remitted.
The Arizona Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations Unit also opened an investigation and discovered Norton was charging and collecting sales taxes from customers on food and drinks, but she kept them rather than giving them to the state to be split between the state, Greenlee County and the Town of Clifton.
The investigation discovered that between March of 2012 and December of 2018, PJ’s made $2,077,761 in taxable sales and Norton failed to remit $181,922 in sales taxes, according to the news release.
On October 5, a state grand jury handed down a 17-count indictment against Norton, alleging fraudulent schemes and artifices, failure to file sales tax returns, and forgery for collecting sales taxes and payroll taxes from her customers and employees and failing to remit them.
Under the terms of her plea agreement the other counts will be dismissed. Norton is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 13.