Cleveland Businessman Pleads Guilty To Sales Tax Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Today Jason Wade Lane, owner of Mattress Direct, located at 4633 North Lee Highway in Cleveland, pled guilty to 11 counts of sales tax fraud, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g). The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea by Lane, age 26.
“The Department of Revenue is committed to applying Tennessee’s tax laws and policies uniformly to all taxpayers to ensure a level playing field,” said Revenue Commissioner Loren L. Chumley. “The department cannot and will not allow people engaged in fraudulent tax activities to have a competitive advantage over honest businesspeople.”
Lane was indicted by the Bradley County Grand Jury on Aug. 9, 2006, on 11 counts of sales tax fraud. The indictment charged that Lane willfully and intentionally evaded and defeated the sales tax due the state of Tennessee by filing false sales tax returns for Mattress Direct for the period of February 2003 through December 2003. These fraudulent actions resulted in Mattress Direct failing to report $80,263.79 of taxable sales and failing to remit $7,349.10 of sales tax collected and due.
Lane was placed on judicial diversion with two years probation and ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $7,349.10. The Department of Revenue will seek additional civil penalties and interest.
Citizens who suspect violations of the Tennessee revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).
The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 92 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2005-2006 fiscal year, the department collected $10.3 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, $1.8 billion of local sales tax was collected by the department for local governments during the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to www.Tennessee.gov/revenue.