Former Memphis Business Owner Convicted On Sales Tax Evasion Charges

Thursday, October 12, 2006 | 07:00pm


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Anthony Ray Vaughn, former owner of Hickory Hill Wine & Spirits located at 6326 Winchester Rd. in Memphis, Tenn., pled guilty to one Class E Felony count of sales tax evasion, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(d), and one Class C Felony count of theft of property over $10,000, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103. The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation covering the 54-month period from Aug. 1, 1999, through Jan. 1, 2004, that led to yesterday’s conviction of Vaughn, age 49.

“This conviction underscores that sales tax is a ‘trust tax’ to which retailers have no legal entitlement,” said Commissioner Loren L. Chumley. “Consumers pay the tax with the belief the money will be used by the state and local governments for the common good.”



On Oct. 11, 2006, Judge Otis Higgs in Division 2 of the Shelby County Criminal Court sentenced Vaughn to eight years probation. During his probationary period, Vaughn must re-pay $88,425 of sales tax he collected and failed to remit to Tennessee. Vaughn’s sentence will be suspended upon completion of all conditions of probation. Vaughn also must pay additional court fines and fees, as well as additional civil penalties and interest due the state. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Bill Gibbons’ office.

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

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