Cleveland Businessman Pleads Guilty

Sunday, October 08, 2006 | 07:00pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Today Andrew Whitney Thompson Sr., president of Cleveland Tire Center, Inc., located at 4699 North Lee Highway in Cleveland, pled guilty to 36 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.



“When sales tax is collected from the public and not remitted, it is a breach of the public trust,” said Commissioner Loren L. Chumley. “The Department of Revenue aggressively pursues criminal sanctions and demands accountability for such actions.”

Thompson was indicted by the Bradley County Grand Jury on Oct. 26, 2005, on 36 counts of sales tax fraud. The indictment charged that Thompson willfully and intentionally caused the corporation to file false and fraudulent sales tax returns for the period of January 2000 through December 2002. These fraudulent actions resulted in Cleveland Tire Center, Inc., failing to report $1,263,782.63 of taxable sales and failing to remit $105,895.59 of sales tax collected and due.

Thompson was placed on judicial diversion with three years probation and ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $105,895.59. 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

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