Revenue Investigation Leads To Arrest Of Sevierville Businesswoman On Sales/Use Tax Evasion Charges
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On Jan. 24, Nicole Lynn Tibbs, manager of Sleepy Bear Cabin Rentals, 1000 Parkway, Sevierville, Tenn., was arrested by agents of the Tennessee Department of Revenue. A writ stemming from indictments returned by the Sevier County Grand Jury for evasion of sales tax due the state of Tennessee and theft of property of more than $60,000 was issued for her arrest. Bond was set at $75,000.
“The majority of businesses pay appropriate taxes,” said Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr. “This case serves as a warning to others who think they can get away with tax fraud in Tennessee. We will continue to pursue criminal activity and prosecute tax evaders to maintain fairness in our tax structure for Tennesseans.”
The investigation was conducted by the Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue. On Jan. 22, 2007, the Sevier County Grand Jury returned a 30-count indictment for evasion of sales tax in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g), Class E Felonies. The Grand Jury also returned a one-count indictment for theft of property over $60,000 in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103, a Class B Felony.
If convicted of the charges, Tibbs could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000 for each count of sales tax evasion. If convicted of the theft of property charges, Smith could be sentenced to a maximum of six years in prison and fined up to $10,000. In addition, civil tax and penalties are due the state.
These cases are pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with Sevier County District Attorney’s 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 www.Tennessee.gov/revenue.