Coral Springs Restaurant Owner Charged With Tax Theft

Coral Springs Restaurant Owner Charged With Tax Theft

Gaston Garcia at his former ROC Resto-Lounge in Coral Springs. {Coral Springs Talk}

By Kevin Deutsch

A former Coral Springs restaurant owner who allegedly failed to pay nearly $50,000 in sales taxes collected at his Coral Square Mall eatery, and pleaded not guilty to the crime, is scheduled to change his plea later this month, court records show.

Gaston Garcia, 43, of Davie, is accused of pocketing $49,843.64 in taxes he charged customers at the now-shuttered ROC Resto-Lounge and Fashion property between December 2014 through June 2015, according to court papers filed by Florida Department of Revenue investigators.

Garcia is charged with theft of state funds, a felony, the records show.

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Garcia’s business, advertised as a multi-faceted entertainment complex when it opened in 2014, included a full-service restaurant, fashion boutique, bar, outdoor lounge, nightclub, and café.

“My goal is is for everyone to feel like a VIP without a VIP price,” Garcia said of his Coral Square Mall property shortly after opening. “Everyone is a VIP here.”

He pleaded not guilty following his October 2020 arrest and is scheduled to change his plea at the Broward County Central Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale on April 28.

Court papers do not indicate whether Garcia plans to plead not guilty, no contest, or make a different request to the court.

Garcia is currently free on a $3,500 bond.

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Kevin Deutsch

Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.

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