'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Star Pleads Guilty: Details on Peter Thomas' Case

The former reality star has been in the news for issues related to finances and business since he began filming 'RHOA' in Season 3.

Peter Thomas can't stay out of trouble for business matters. His financial issues as it relates to the serial entrepreneur's business acumen have been in the spotlight since he and his ex-wife, model Cynthia Bailey, joined The Real Housewives of Atlanta in Season 3. His latest eatery, Bar One Baltimore, lasted less than a year on the famed East Harbor section in Baltimore, Maryland after failed restaurants in Atlanta, Miami, and Charlotte. Now, The Baltimore Banner reports he's pleaded guilty in a $2.5 million federal tax case.

Before permanently closing Bar One Baltimore, the controversial reality star blamed Bar One's problems on his employees. He accused them of stealing money from the business. Court documents unearthed reveal otherwise, reporting Thomas failed to pay more than $2.5 million in employment taxes withheld from his workers' paychecks in Baltimore and elsewhere at his other establishments.

He pleaded guilty to one felony count of failure to pay over trust fund taxes in U.S. District Court in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he operated the now-closed nightclub ClubONE, and an eatery, Sports One Bar and Lounge.

The report notes that Thomas collected over $640,000 in income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from employees' paychecks at his restaurants in Charlotte between 2017 and 2022. He then used the money to make cash withdrawals and pay for travel and real estate. He also collected more than $1.1 million in taxes from employee wages at Bar One Miami Beach and Bar One Baltimore from 2021 to 2023 and did not pay that money to the IRS.

In a 2023 interview with The Baltimore Banner, he admitted to using money from his various restaurants to finance Bar One Baltimore, saying: "We have to borrow from Paul to pay Peter."

The maximum sentence Thomas faces is five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. The terms of his plea have not been released.