The co-owner of Riley’s Wines of the World and several other downtown businesses was sentenced Friday to two years in prison, one year supervised release and a $30,000 fine for filing a false 2005 income tax return.
According to federal court documents, Hyungirl Lee under-reported his income on his 2005 income tax return. Lee has paid back the nearly $200,000 he owed in tax loss.
In 2002, Lee was sentenced to 18 months in prison and a $71,000 fine for filing a false 1995 income tax return. United States District Judge Barbara Crabb, who also presided over Lee’s 2002 sentencing, said she was “appalled” to see Lee in her courtroom so soon after his first conviction.
Lee and his wife Jongyean Lee pled guilty in August to charges of income tax fraud. Jongyean Lee was sentenced Oct. 13 to one year in prison and a $30,000 fine for submitting a false document to an IRS agent.
In order to maintain their businesses, which include Badger Liquor, Churchkey Pub & Grill and Vineyard Liquor, the Lees requested in their plea agreement their prison terms be staggered, with Jongyean Lee’s sentence beginning after her husband is released. Hyungirl Lee will begin his sentence Nov. 30.
After Hyungirl Lee’s first conviction, all alcohol licenses for the Lees’ businesses were transferred to Jongyean Lee’s name, Alcohol License Review Committee member Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said.
As far as restrictions on the Lees’ liquor licenses, Assistant City Attorney Steve Brist said the offense must “substantially relate” to the licenses, a determination that would be made by the ALRC.
Verveer said he does not anticipate the issue of the Lees’ licenses coming before the ALRC soon. Jongyean Lee’s status as the agent of the licenses may be threatened, however, when she reports to prison, Verveer said.
“Based on what I know, I don’t see an issue with their licenses at this point, but two years down the road there are absolutely going to be questions and issues raised,” Verveer said.