The owner of a popular restaurant in downtown Victoria has been sentenced to a few days in jail and ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to pay taxes for several years.

Paul M. Carlson, 62, of Excelsior, owner of Vic's Bar & Grill, was sentenced last week in Carver County District Court after pleading guilty to a felony for failing to file tax returns.

Judge Martin Fallon's sentence calls for Carlson to serve a "long weekend" in jail from 7 p.m. on a Friday until 7 a.m. the following Monday. Fallon set aside another 90 days in jail and ordered Carlson to be on supervised probation for five years.

Carlson must pay 20% of what he owes within six months of the final restitution tab, an amount that has yet to be determined. At the time he was charged, Carlson owed more than $440,000 in taxes, penalties and interest. If he pays all of what he owes within two years, his probation will end after two years.

"Overall, this was a very good result considering the complexities and challenges of the case," County Attorney Mark Metz said Wednesday. "Our office was unwilling to have the defendant sentenced as a gross misdemeanor and stood firm on a felony conviction with jail consequences and restitution to be paid back as soon as possible."

Recovering the unpaid taxes as soon as possible "was a critical part of the plea and that was the reason for the weekend in jail with the additional 90 days jail hanging over his head," Metz added. "We were in frequent communications with the Minnesota Department of Revenue, who were in agreement with the plea and sentence."

According to the criminal complaint:

Carlson failed to file his individual income tax returns and his corporate tax returns for tax years 2015 through 2020. He also failed to turn over to the state the sales tax collected by his business during those years. The annual taxable revenue for the downtown restaurant, which sits south of Steiger Lake, was about $892,000.

He told state Department of Revenue investigators that he knew of his obligations but did not have a reason for declining to file, other than to admit "getting further and further behind." He also acknowledged not filing federal returns for those years.