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Owner of liquor store, nightclub pleads guilty to tax evasion

The owner/operator of a Buffalo liquor store and a nightclub pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree grand larceny for failing to remit to the state $63,095 in sales taxes that he collected at both businesses.

Ronald Brantley, 33, of Ellicott Street, admitted that he failed to file quarterly sales tax returns with the state Department of Taxation and Finance for Spirits Wine and Liquor at 1526 Main St. at West Ferry Street and Blush Ultra Lounge at 1389 Delaware Ave. between March 1, 2009 and Aug. 31, 2012.

He faces a maximum prison term of five to 15 years when he is sentenced Aug. 11 by Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio, according to Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.

Brantley has signed a confession of judgment for the amount he owes the state and expects to pay it by the time he is sentenced, prosecutors said.

Blush Ultra Lounge opened in 2010 on Delaware near West Delavan Avenue in a building that once housed One Sunset, a restaurant and bar operated by former college basketball star Leonard Stokes that received $160,000 in grants and loans from the city and county before it went belly up in December 2008. Blush received no subsidies.