Fayette County Man Sentenced for Sales Tax Evasion and Filing False Report to an Officer

Monday, May 13, 2013 | 03:39pm

Somerville, Tenn. - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the May 9, 2013 guilty plea of Gerald J. Pulliam. Circuit Court Judge J. Weber McCraw accepted Pulliam's guilty plea to one count of sales tax evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g), a Class E felony; and one count of filing a false report to a law enforcement officer in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-16-502, a Class D felony.

This investigation related to Pulliam's fraudulent registration of a boat with the Fayette County Clerk's Office in June 2010. Pulliam falsely registered his $215,000 boat for $5,000 and failed to remit the additional $14,700 in tax due at the time of the registration. Pulliam then provided false and fraudulent information to revenue agents when questioned about the registration.

Judge McCraw sentenced Pulliam to the Tennessee Department of Corrections for one year on the Class E felony and three years on the Class D felony. The sentence was suspended and Pulliam was placed on supervised probation. Pulliam was also fined $5,000 and ordered to make $175 monthly payments beginning July 1, 2013, until the fine and court cost have been paid. After Pulliam pays his fine and court costs, he will be placed on unsupervised probation.

"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 Richard H. Roberts. "This investigation underscores the department's ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee's tax laws."

This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant'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).

In addition to collecting state taxes, over $2.0 billion of local sales and business taxes were collected by the department for local governments during the 2012 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.TN.gov/revenue.