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Top 10 stories of 2013: 7. Poor Red’s owners arrested; iconic bar closed

Poor red a

IN AUGUST a few days after the Adams pled guilty former employees protested outside Poor Red's. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

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From page A13 | January 03, 2014 | 3 Comments

The court case concerning alleged tax issues of the owners of Poor Red’s Bar-B-Q continues on Jan. 27, 2014.

A Franchise Tax Board warrant raid on April 17, 2013, coincided with the arrests of owners Mike and Brenda Adams on 30 counts of tax evasion and insurance fraud.

Brenda Adams was released on bail, but hearings two weeks later saw her remanded again on charges related to an allegedly stolen ATM. According to the new complaint, Adams stole $1,580 from David Schroeder, with the special allegation that she committed the alleged crime while out on bail.

On Friday, Aug. 2, the Adams pleaded guilty to their tax-related crimes. After about 45 minutes of defense attorneys Mark Ralphs and Adam Weiner and deputy district attorney James Clinchard conferencing with Judge Douglas C. Phimister in the judge’s chambers, they pleaded guilty to charges of filing false tax returns with the state Franchise Tax Board and Board of Equalization, failure to make contributions to the Employee Development Department, failure to secure Worker’s Compensation and each had a different charge of insurance fraud. They both also agreed to an enhancement of aggravated circumstances due to the amount exceeding $200,000.

Both signed eight-page plea bargains with eight-page supplements, allowing them to be released that day. Mike Adams was required to turn in his passport by Aug. 5, while the court was already in possession of Brenda’s. The case concerning the ATM was trailed.

On Aug. 9, a protest was held outside the bar. At its height, about 20 people, mostly former employees, held signs eliciting drivers — from motorcyclists to large trucks — honking horns and showing support as they drove by. Signs included “Cheaters never prosper!” and a joke that the only bars the Adams should be behind are those of a jail cell.

The former employees said that they had heard current employees were still being paid under the table. They also heard that the Adams were trying to sell the bar for $1.8 million, in part to cover $200,000 they were ordered to pay in restitution after pleading guilty to multiple tax charges. Five or six employees still had not been paid their final paycheck, they said. Despite threats against the former employees of arrests for violating restraining orders, no arrests were made.

District Attorney Public Information Officer Dave Stevenson confirmed the bar, as of Dec. 30, had not yet been sold.

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Discussion | 3 comments

  • WendyJanuary 05, 2014 - 7:52 am

    Still these thieves walk free. We need to lock them up and stop them from continuing their destruction. Are they above the law?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Bob ReevesJanuary 05, 2014 - 7:00 pm

    The end is near!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ShellyJanuary 27, 2014 - 9:32 am

    Today is the big day....Mike and Bree are both in court today the 27th. Hopefully they will finally be held responsible for all their illegal actions - if not, we need to look at our local court system!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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