On Friday, Farmers’ Cabinet owner Matt Swartz entered a plea agreement in a Philadelphia court, pleading guilty to one count of tampering with a public record and two counts of serving beer without a license to do so.
Swartz was arrested last December after the Liquor Control Enforcement arm of the Pennsylvania State Police raided the Walnut Street establishment.
Even though the restaurant's liquor license had expired back in October, the Farmers' Cabinet was still operating as a full bar.
Prior to the raid, I had contacted the Farmers' Cabinet to find out why they were still serving liquor.
A manager told me that a certificate granting the authority was issued by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and that the certificate was posted at the front of the restaurant.
And then Swartz sent me the following via email:
License has been renewed letter is in front if the restaurant taxes have been settled ....if you try to destroy my business on more time with lies you will be sued for slander ..just like the sherif sale 2 months ago ... It's all ready at the lawyer waiting for you to cross the line One more time ...you just can't say outlandish things and hid behind thats it only a "blog" and its ok ...I really don't know what your problem is with me considering I never even meet you....didn't you run the same untrue story last year to....
Trouble is, police alleged, that certificate was a fake, and Swartz was charged with forgery, in addition to the other charges listed above.
"He forged the temporary authority letter he was given last year for 2012," a police spokesman told me. "He went and just changed the year."
As part of the plea deal reached this week, the forgery charge was dropped. Swartz was sentenced to up to 12 months probation and ordered to perform 10 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine, in addition to court costs.
It wasn't Swartz's first run in with the law. He previously spent time in federal prison for wire fraud. And in April 2013, Swartz pleaded guilty to his second DUI offense.