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Crosby, Minn., bar owner who dresses like Nordic Warrior denies tax cheating felonies

CROSBY, Minn. -- Richard Schmidthuber, owner of the Nordic Inn Medieval Brew & Bed Service in Crosby, is known for the eccentric Viking decor at his bar/bed and breakfast, as well as dressing up like one of the ferocious Nordic warriors of ol...

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Tax evasion. iStock photo

CROSBY, Minn. -- Richard Schmidthuber, owner of the Nordic Inn Medieval Brew & Bed Service in Crosby, is known for the eccentric Viking decor at his bar/bed and breakfast, as well as dressing up like one of the ferocious Nordic warriors of old. Although the Vikings were famous for looting and pillaging, Schmidthuber has been charged with a more modern crime: state tax evasion.

In a complaint filed last month, Crow Wing County charged Schmidthuber, 57, with 52 tax-related felonies. The Minnesota Department of Revenue said the charges were 20 counts of failing to pay state liquor taxes, 20 counts of filing false or fraudulent sales tax returns, six counts of failing to file income tax returns and six counts of failing to pay income tax.

Contacted Monday, Schmidthuber questioned why a Dispatch report on the charges was necessary.

"I did nothing wrong, and it'll all be done in court," he said. "I have a name to keep clear and people can misconstrue things. I've got to call my lawyer on this. This is scary."

In response to a question of whether he had a lawyer, Schmidthuber said he did not.

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Crow Wing County's criminal complaint alleged Schmidthuber knowingly failed to file income tax returns or pay income taxes from 2008 through 2013, and that he owes more than $21,000. He failed to pay a total of $15,000 in sales and liquor taxes from 2009 to 2014 for the inn, the Department of Revenue release said. Total restitution for unpaid taxes is more than $36,000, the complaint said.

An anonymous source tipped off a special agent of the Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigation Division in August of 2013.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

"Although most taxpayers comply with tax laws voluntarily, the Minnesota Department of Revenue takes enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers to ensure that tax laws are administered fairly," the agency's release said.

Schmidthuber's first court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 14.

Related Topics: CROSBY
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