Bristol Businessman Pleads Guilty To Evasion of Sales Tax

Sunday, December 17, 2006 | 06:00pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - William Gregory Richards, former owner of Redline Performance Center, pled guilty today to one count of felony sales tax fraud, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g). Special agents of the Tennessee Department of Revenue, in cooperation with the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office, conducted the investigation leading to today’s plea. In pleading guilty, Richards, age 44, admitted that as owner of Redline Performance Center, he was responsible for the collection and non-remittance of Tennessee sales tax in the amount of $46,173.67 for the period May 2000 through December 2002.


“The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity,” said Revenue Commissioner Loren L. Chumley. “This investigation underscores the department’s ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee’s tax laws.”

Richards was granted judicial diversion and was placed on two years supervised probation. As part of the plea agreement, Richards is required to make restitution in the amount of $46,173.67 to the Department of Revenue and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. The Department of Revenue will also seek additional civil fines and penalties from Richards.

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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