The former owner of Sugarhouse Bar & Grill in South Burlington has been charged with embezzling nearly $170,000 intended for two local charities.
Nicholas Bermudez, 32, allegedly diverted the money from the sale of break-open tickets — lottery-like tickets sold at some bars on behalf of nonprofits — into his own pocket, according to the state Department of Liquor Control.
The bar owner claimed to be selling the tickets on behalf of the Burlington Amateur Hockey Association and Jones Music Media and paid them a total of $6,510 over 16 months, according to the department. After an anonymous complaint, authorities learned he allegedly made $168,181 in ticket sales. State law requires that all the profits of break-open ticket sales go to charities or fraternal organizations.