ReBar Owner Says He Is 'So Sorry' Before Getting up to 10 Years in Prison

By Janet Upadhye on July 21, 2014 3:34pm 

 The state Attorney General's Office has banned Jason Stevens from ever again being involved in the restaurant business in New York State.
The state Attorney General's Office has banned Jason Stevens from ever again being involved in the restaurant business in New York State.
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DNAinfo.com/Janet Upadhye

DUMBO — Former reBar owner Jason Stevens apologized in court Monday, saying that he "completely failed" before being sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on charges of grand larceny and tax fraud.

Stevens was handcuffed and taken to Rikers Island where he will wait to be assigned to a state facility, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.

In June, he pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1 million in sales tax. He also agreed to pay $1.1 million in restitution in a separate civil case for bilking dozens of couples that booked his venue for their weddings.

In court, he apologized for abruptly shuttering his venue, leaving employees out three weeks of pay and couples in the lurch before their big day.

"I completely failed the trust that was placed in me by my friends and family, New York State, New York City and the Borough of Brooklyn and most importantly my employees and my customers," a stoic Stevens said in court Monday morning. "I have nothing left to give but an apology from my heart. I am so sorry."

Stevens will serve a minimum of 3 1/3 years in prison.

WATCH: Angry couples confront Stevens outside Brooklyn Criminal Court in May.

A source said Stevens does not have the cash to pay back the couples.

Heather Epstein, who lost $20,000 to Stevens just weeks before her wedding, said she was relieved Stevens apologized and is ready to put what happened behind her.

"I am glad that he finally recognized us," she said. "We probably won't get money back and it may have been his lawyer poking at him, but at least he said it. At least he said sorry."

Epstein and Brian Cavanaugh were married across the street from reBar at Superfine on June 7.

"Reflecting upon it today I am happy that what happened, happened," she said. "We had a wonderful wedding."

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