Former owner of Latitude 360 pleads guilty to tax evasion, faces up to 5 years in prison

Brent Brown, the former owner of Jacksonville entertainment complex Latitude 360, pleaded guilty on Thursday to a federal tax evasion charge.

Brown was indicted in 2022 and charged with 17 counts of failing to remit to the IRS payroll taxes withheld from employees of Latitude 360, but under the plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to just one of those counts and agreed to pay $3.8 million in restitution. The taxes owed by Brown from the initial charges totaled more than $1 million, but he’s agreed to pay some taxes that he wasn’t criminally charged for.

Brown now faces up to five years in prison.

Brown opened Latitude 360 in Jacksonville in early 2011 near The Avenues Mall and four subsidiaries in other states.

According to the indictment, those subsidiaries withheld taxes from employee wages, including federal income taxes in 2015 and 2016. The Jacksonville business closed in January 2016.

Brown filed for bankruptcy while owing several employees’ back pay. He faced 34 charges in Pennsylvania for bad business dealings there, including not paying employees or paying them with bad checks.

In 2016, Latitude 360 held an auction in hopes of using the money to pay back taxes. The items went for much less than they were worth.

No sentencing date for Brown has been set.

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