Memphis Businessman Sentenced On State Sales Tax Evasion Charges
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to today’s sentencing of Brian Orr, age 40, for evasion of sales tax and theft over $10,000. Orr, former owner of Casino Liquor, 2271 South Third St. in Memphis, pled guilty to one Class E Felony count of sales tax fraud, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(d), and one Class C Felony count for theft over $10,000, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103.
This conviction and resulting sentencing is a result of the Department of Revenue’s ongoing efforts to encourage voluntary compliance with the state of Tennessee’s revenue laws regarding reporting and remitting collected sales taxes.
Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Otis Higgs sentenced Brian Orr to six years in Shelby County Correctional Center for the Class C Felony and one year for the Class E Felony. The prison terms were suspended, and Orr was placed on six years of probation, ordered to make full restitution of $25,887 to the state of Tennessee and pay a fine of $500. Orr’s probation will run concurrently with a 43-month prison sentence on unrelated federal drug charges. The Department of Revenue also will seek additional civil fines and penalties from Orr.
“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.”
The department pursues criminal cases in cooperation with local district attorneys general.
Chumley encourages all citizens who suspect violation of the Tennessee revenue laws to 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.