Memphis Businessman Pleads Guilty to Sales Tax Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On March 6, 2007, Quinton B. White, former owner of Q.W. Discount Liquor Store located in Memphis, Tennessee, pled guilty to one count of sales tax fraud, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440 and one count of theft of property over $10,000, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103. The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
White was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury on February 14, 2006, on four counts of sales tax evasion. Two of those counts charge that White failed to file sales tax returns and two counts charge that White failed to remit sales tax revenue to the Department of Revenue. White was also indicted on one count of theft of property over $60,000.
White appeared before the Honorable Jim Lammey in Division Five of the Shelby County Criminal Court. White received five years probation for theft of property over $10,000 and one year probation on the count of sales tax fraud. The probationary periods were set to run concurrently. White was ordered to work 150 hours of community service and pay $575 in fines and fees. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $81,239. The Department of Revenue will seek additional civil penalties and interest.
“When sales tax is collected from the public and not remitted to the state, it is a breach of the public trust,” said Commissioner Reagan Farr. “The Department of Revenue aggressively pursues criminal sanctions and demands accountability for such actions.”
The Department Revenue pursues criminal tax fraud cases in conjunction with the Fraud and Economics Crime Unit of the Shelby County District Attorney General’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.