Wyatt Earp’s Steak House in Covington is located just off of the square, under Buff City Soap.

Restaurant owner Adam Kelley was indicted this week on money laundering and tax evasion charges, 25th Judicial District Attorney General Mark Davidson announced Wednesday.

Acting on allegations of theft and failure to file state tax returns, the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted an investigation into the finances of Kelley’s restaurant, Wyatt Earp’s, which is located right off of Covington’s square.

The Tipton County Grand Jury indicted Kelley on 59 total counts of theft,
false sales tax returns, failing to file a sales tax return and money laundering. The
charges include Theft Over $250,000, a Class A Felony offense.


“These indictments will serve notice on unscrupulous business owners who engage in fraudulent, deceptive and evasive business activities in our communities: You will be found out, charged, and held accountable for that fraudulent, deceptive and evasive criminal conduct,” Davidson said. “We commend the Tennessee Department of Revenue for their exhaustive investigative work and cooperation in this important case. Wherever theft and fraud occurs in the 25th Judicial District, this Office and our colleagues will be prepared to hold offenders accountable.”

Adam Kelley, owner of Wyatt Earp’s Steakhouse, was indicted this week on charges of money laundering, tax evasion and theft.

The case was investigated by the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

“The Department of Revenue has always been committed to making sure Tennessee’s tax laws and procedures are applied uniformly to ensure fairness,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said.  “We can never allow individuals engaged in fraudulent tax activity to have a competitive advantage over honest Tennesseans.”

If convicted, Kelley could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $50,000 for theft of property. He could also be sentenced for up to 12 years and fined up to $25,000 for money laundering.  His business, Wyatt Earp’s Steak House, was also indicted, and it could be fined up to $50,000 for each tax charge.

Wyatt Earp’s, which is named for the famed Western lawman and gambler of the same name,  was formerly located on Quinton Drive in Munford before relocating to Covington, in the former Marlo’s Down Under building, several years ago. There are two more locations in Millington and Oakland.

Assistant District Attorneys General Walt Freeland and Jason Poyner are prosecuting this case on behalf of the State of Tennessee.

Kelley was booked into the Tipton County Jail and has been released on a $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear for arraignment on the new charges on Monday, March 9 in Tipton County Circuit Court.

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.