Trey Britt Convicted in Statesboro Federal Court • The Georgia Virtue

A federal judge convicted Eugene R. “Trey” Britt III in court Wednesday of his crimes related to his past ownership of several bars and restaurants. Britt pleaded guilty to the charges last fall.

Charges against Trey Britt

Federal prosecutors filed an information charge against Eugene R. “Trey” Britt III on September 13, 2022, two weeks after his brother and former Statesboro City Councilman Will Britt was sentenced in federal court. The charges almost mirror charges brought against the other Britt, who filed a guilty plea in federal court in April 2022. In August, a federal judge sentenced Britt to 33 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and $350,000 in damages.

For Trey Britt, the government charge was that Britt failed to disclose sources of income on his tax returns. The DOJ claims that “[f]or at least two decades, [Trey Britt] and others used this organizational structure to conduct business for companies in the bar and restaurant industry. Thus, although it was not apparent on paper that the defendant had owned or operated bars or restaurants since at least 2010, in reality, he owned, among other things, variable stakes in the businesses described above.”

Notably, Britt owned Capital City and 119 Chops, Rude Rudy’s, Rum Runners, The Gin, and Title Town Nightlife LLC (Dillinger’s). The charges relate to one company, BGRG Inc., an acronym for Big Goofy Restaurant Group. “Big Goofy” has long been a nickname for Trey Britt.

In addition, the prosecution alleged that Trey Britt:

  • owned controlling interests in Capital City, Chops and Rum Runners and controlled the distribution of cash from these three operations.
  • provided a Sylvania accountant with incorrect information about cash distributions from Capital City, Chops, Rum Runners, Rude Rudy’s, The Gin and Dillinger’s
  • Despite all the money he earned, Trey Britt’s 2015 tax return showed a loss of $127,290
  • He also participated in the sale of beer at Music Festival 1 and earned income from it.
    • These sales were all cash sales, and beer sales received fifty percent of the profits.
    • Similar to the structure of Britt’s bars and restaurants, Britt and others shared in the profits of beer sales by siphoning off cash and paying it out according to their ownership interest in themselves.
    • Britt received at least 35% of the cash profits made by the beer sales operation.

In September 2022, a notice of a plea agreement was filed and a hearing was scheduled in October to accept Trey Britt’s guilty plea.


On Britt’s charge, he faced a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, up to three years of supervised release, prosecution costs and a $100 special assessment.

Britt’s attorney, Murdoch II Walker, who resides in New England, asked the judge for a downward variance on Wednesday, saying it was “not an elaborate tax evasion strategy” and that it involved a group of friends and family having fun wanted to spend time and wanted to make others happy

“This is not meant to belittle the crimes, but this is not a public corruption case, Your Honor,” Walker said. “He’s not his brother and it was his brother, a socialite, who brought more attention to the case.”

Walker claimed that it was not a criminal organization and that the tax evasion took place as part of “everyday operations”. “It happens far too often, but I don’t want the impression that he and his brother were leaders of a criminal enterprise,” Walker told the court.

He urged the court to consider only house arrest or probation, but asked for the minimum sentence of eight months if jail time was required because Britt accepted responsibility, agreeing to a plea bargain early in the trial up and was willing to accept the consequences.

“This case is not Trey Britt. He is a salt of the earth. A hard worker. And he’s made selfless contributions to society,” Walker said. He also told the court that if they had allowed everyone who wanted to support Britt to appear, the courtroom would be “crowded.” On Wednesday, Britt asked three members in the courtroom for his support.

Britt addressed the court briefly and said he took full responsibility for his actions. “I’m happy to be here to take a step closer to that goal,” he said.

However, the US government took a different position towards Britt, claiming that Britt’s attorney may have been confused about the facts.

Assistant US Attorneys argued that deviating from sentencing guidelines was not warranted because it was neither shoddy business practice nor a misjudgment.

“He’s done it for two decades and he’s done it with other companies. It was a normal part of the business he helped build, and he would still be doing it if he hadn’t been caught. Yes, they were legitimate companies, but tax evasion was built into the operation.”

The US government also said that Britt lied to his accountant to go ahead with the plan, lied to federal agents, and lied during a civil testimony in 2018.

“He doesn’t deserve any special recognition. He was not a passive participant. He helped other people cheat their taxes and he got the system to do it.”

Ultimately, Presiding Judge J. Randal Hall of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia sentenced Britt as follows:

  • 24 months in federal prison
  • 3 years supervised release
  • $362,249.53 refund to IRS
  • $10,000 penalty
  • $100 special assessment
  • Submission of a DNA sample
  • Providing urine samples upon discharge
  • Prohibition of possession of firearms

The judge also ordered Britt to comply with additional conditions, including:

  • Waiver of 4th Amendment research
  • Providing access to financial records pending parole
  • He may not use more than one bench
  • He is not allowed to open a loan without the approval of the parole board
  • Without approval from the probation office, he may not engage in any self-employment
  • Curfew daily from 10pm to 6am

Britt was ordered to surrender to Bureau of Prisons custody on August 21, 2023. His family requested his sentence to serve time in Montgomery, AL, which the judge acknowledged but could not guarantee.

Direct contradictions to previous statements made under oath

Like his brother’s case, Trey Britt’s admission of guilt is in direct contradiction to statements made between 2014 and 2018 in which both Will and Trey Britt “denied under oath that they ever had any financial interest in Rum Runners or Rum Runners otherwise financially.” to have supported”. …”

In a 2016 Memorandum of Law against the City of Statesboro, written by Michael Gatto’s family in a lawsuit following his death, Statesboro city attorneys denied any liability for the death of Gatto, who was in the university parking lot Plaza happened. partly because the Britts didn’t own the bars, as the Gattos claimed.

The document continues:

“Will and Trey Britt were questioned about a recent FBI raid, and both invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when asked if “documents or other records obtained by the FBI in that raid contained leads.” indicate that you have a financial interest in one or more.’ company at University Plaza in 2014.’ (SMF 108) However, Will Britt denied the Fifth Amendment and did not plead whether he owned either Rude Rudy’s or Rum Runners…”

“While the plaintiffs have speculated that Will or Trey Britt may have had a secret interest in Rum Runners or Rude Rudy’s, they denied that…”

The city denied any responsibility for the circumstances that favored University Plaza’s condition, going so far as to provide a loophole should the Britts have been untrue under oath. “Even if Mr. Britt had a secret, undisclosed interest in Rum Runners or even Rude Rudy’s,” the city said it wasn’t responsible for the bars.

Much of the Gatto lawsuit was based on the actions of Will and Trey Britt, meaning the city’s defense relied largely on the distinction between “Councilman Will Britt” and “Will Britt and his brother Trey Britt.”

“No adverse inferences can be drawn against the City as neither Will Britt nor Trey Britt is a party to this lawsuit. But even if the court were to consider seeking an alleged adverse interference with the summary judgment decision, it would not support the argument that Will or Trey Britt had an interest in any of the University Plaza facilities.”

Finally, the City of Statesboro argued that “Speculation about ownership of various establishments or what Will Britt might have been doing ‘counting the money’ was improper hearsay.”

A trial court judge, an appeals court judge and the Georgia Supreme Court ruled against the Gatto family over a period of eight years.

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