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Charges Won't Affect Business, Fermental Owner Says

By Jessica Maurer, posted Jul 3, 2019
The owner of Fermental, 7250 Market St. in Ogden, said charges filed against him by the state Department of Revenue will not affect the business. (Photo courtesy of Fermental)

A Wilmington businessman facing felony charges filed by the N.C. Department of Revenue is speaking out about the future of his business. 

Steven Gibbs, owner of Fermental, has been charged with aiding and abetting the business to embezzle, misapply and convert to its own use $44,059.20 in state and New Hanover County sales tax between September 1, 2014, and September 20, 2017, according to a release from the NCDOR.

The charges against Gibbs resulted from an investigation by special agents with the NCDOR’s Criminal Investigations Section in Raleigh, and Gibbs said that he has been aware of the situation for some time. 

“The 'arrest' was not as stated in other news sources," Steven Gibbs said in reference to the charges filed June 24. “This situation has been ongoing for several years and this was a pre-planned meeting with the Department Of Revenue to handle the accusations. I was released without bond and stayed in a hotel in downtown Raleigh during the process.”

Court records confirm that Gibbs was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled to appear in Wake County court again in August.

“Unfortunately, due to the delicacy of the circumstances and the other parties involved, I am limited in the amount of information I can release at this time,” Gibbs said. “With the assistance of an attorney and CPA, we are working on getting to the bottom of what actually happened here, and if we owe any additional sales taxes, we will pay them immediately.”

Gibbs said he wants the community to know that the charges will not affect his business.

“Most importantly, Fermental isn’t going anywhere,” Gibbs said. “As always, Fermental will continue to offer the area’s best selection of wine, beer, food trucks, entertainment and family fun. We will continue to host and support charity events and donate to a growing list of local nonprofits and public schools. The community response and support has been incredible and very much appreciated. I hope to be able to release more information as the situation develops.”

Fermental is located at 7250 Market St. in Ogden.

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