nightlife

Did Philly Gay Bar Owner Michael Weiss Lie to IRS About $768k in Unreported Revenues?

There’s a reason why the nightlife industry is so appealing for entrepreneurs: It’s mostly a cash business, making things like “revenues” easier to hide. But not easy enough, apparently, for Michael Weiss, the Philadelphia owner of a slew of venues who’s facing charges of hiding income.

Weiss, whose properties include the gay bar Woody’s (part of Chelsea Clinton’s gay bar crawl), and whose family is a regular contributor to charitable causes, faces nine years in prison and a $750k fine if convicted on charges of under-reporting income from Palmer Social Club, which is reportedly open only six hours a week (Saturday and Sunday, 12am-3am) — making the situation all the more bizarre.

In its indictment, prosecutors claim the Palmer Social Club — registered as a non-profit(!) — took in “approximately $1,411,373.55” in 2004 but reported just $528,228 in income (a $883,145.55 difference, relays Edge). And in 2005, Palmer allegedly took in $1,411,390.03, but knocked off $768,981.03 and reported just $641,409.

How a business owner manages to get his bar registered as tax-exempt is the work of a crafty CPA. And one that’s open just 312 hours a week that’s able to take in the lower $641k figure means Palmer collected $2,054 an hour (or, says the government, $4,523). Good deal.