The co-owner of the Thane Ore House Salmon Bake got into more legal trouble this week after he provided a false name and an incorrect social security number to an arresting police officer, according to charging court documents.
George H. Jefferson, 51, said his name was John Jefferson and provided a social security number that belonged to a man in Anchorage as a Juneau police officer attempted to arrest him on an outstanding $500 bench warrant, according to a police citation. The warrant stemmed from charges last year for failing to pay city sales taxes over a three-year span.
A judge had issued the bench warrant for Jefferson last month after he failed to appear in court for the tax case.
Jefferson was arrested on the warrant, additionally cited for making a false report to police and taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Making a false report is a class ‘A’ misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.
Jefferson appeared in court Tuesday for his arraignment on the new charge, but the judge dismissed the case after determining it could not be brought under city ordinances. The city ordinance only covers the specific instance where a person gives false information to implicate another person. A related state statute is broader and addresses the instance when a person gives wrong information to police while being served an arrest warrant. Prosecutors quickly re-filed the case Tuesday under the applicable state statute. Jefferson is scheduled to be arraigned again in court today.
Jefferson and his wife, Virginia A. Jefferson, 55, the other co-owner of the salmon bake, were charged last January with 26 counts each of violating the City and Borough of Juneau’s uniform sales tax code. City prosecutors say the two failed to pay city sales tax from July 2009 through September 2012 and that they owed about $35,000 in unremitted sales tax, penalties and interest.
George Jefferson originally pleaded not guilty but changed his plea last month in accordance with a plea deal. The deal requires him to plead guilty to four of the misdemeanor charges and to serve a total of 60 days in jail, three years on probation and to pay restitution. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining charges against him and to dismiss the case against his wife.
Virginia Jefferson previously said in court that her role at the salmon bake is limited to waitressing and that she is an owner in name only. She said her husband owned the business before they were married about eight years ago. She also noted that they are no longer on speaking terms.
A judge previously issued a warrant for Virginia Jefferson’s arrest. It was quashed when she made her first court appearance in May 2013. She said she was out of town when charges were filed in January.
The Jefferson’s were originally charged separately but their cases were joined in August.
George Jefferson is still scheduled to be sentenced for the tax case on March 26.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.