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Stearns County Bar Owner Pleads Guilty to Tax Crimes

Steven Wright

ST. CLOUD – The owner of a Stearns County bar has pleaded guilty to nine felony  counts of tax crimes he was charged with.   Anthony Thelen, owner of Goatroper’s Bar in Farming Township, has pleaded guilty to nine of the 24 felony counts involving tax returns.

Thelen pleaded guilty to five counts of filing fraudulent sales tax returns and four counts of failing to file personal income tax returns.

Stearns County prosecutors will be asking for the presumtpive sentence of just under two years in prison.  Thelen will ask for a downward departure or probation.  As part of the guilty pleas, Thelen will also pay restitution.

Thelen’s liquor license is immediately revoked as part of Stearns County’s provision that he lose his license, if he was convicted of a felony or a gross misdemeanor.

Last month the Stearns County Board of Commissioners approved a 3.2% liquor license for Goatroper’s manager Stephanie Jacobs, in the event that Thelen was convicted of any of the charges against him.  Jacobs is now poised to take over the bar, and give it a new name.  WJON News talked to Jacobs this (Tuesday), but she declined to comment.

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