Owners of Memphis Convenience Store Plead Guilty to Sales Tax Fraud
Memphis - The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to the April 4, 2011, guilty pleas of Ali Al Harbi and Mohamed H. Nagi, owners of Twins Food Mart, 766 Jackson Avenue, Memphis, Tenn.
Al Harbi and Nagi were indicted by a Shelby County Grand Jury on charges of sales tax fraud in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440, a Class E Felony, and Theft of Property in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103, a Class C Felony.
Al Harbi pled quilty to four counts of sales tax fraud and was sentenced to two years on each count. He was placed on four years probation and ordered to pay $7,009.25 restitution to the Department of Revenue. Al Harbi was also ordered to timely file and accurately report all state taxes collected by him in the future. Nagi pled guilty to sales tax fraud and was placed on judicial diversion for two years. Nagi was also ordered to pay $7,009.25 in restitution to the Department.
“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 Richard H. Roberts. “The department cannot and will not allow people engaged in fraudulent tax activities to have a competitive advantage over honest business people.”
This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with Shelby County District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich’s office. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee's 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 91 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the department collected $10.1 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, the Department of Revenue collects taxes for local, county and municipal governments. During the 2009-2010 fiscal year, local government collections by the Department of Revenue exceeded $1.9 billion. In 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.TN.gov/revenue.