Owner of Adam's Beverage Barn Arrested on Tennessee Sales Tax Evasion and Theft Charges

Monday, July 15, 2013 | 04:15pm

Memphis, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Revenue's Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to the July 13, 2013, arrest of Munther Irbash, age 44, of Cordova, Tennessee. Irbash's bond was set at $25,000.

On July 11, 2013, Irbash was indicted on three counts by a Shelby County Grand Jury. The two Class E Felony counts were related to his falsification of sales tax returns to the Tennessee Department of Revenue in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440. The third charge was a Class C Felony count of Theft of Property Over $10,000 in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103. If convicted, Irbash could be sentenced up to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000 on each of the sales tax charges and a maximum of six years in the state penitentiary and fined $10,000 on the theft charge.

"This investigation serves as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies," said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. "Sales tax revenues collected by retailers are property of our state and local governments and must be remitted to the state as required by law. Consumers who pay the tax deserve to know that the money will be used by the state and local governments for the common good."

Prosecution of this criminal case was pursued by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich. Commissioner Roberts expressed his appreciation for the excellent cooperation the department has enjoyed with General Weirich. 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, $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.