Owner of Adam's Beverage Barn Pleads Guilty to Sales Tax Fraud and Theft

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 | 06:42pm

Memphis, Tenn. - Munther Irbash, the owner of Adam's Beverage Barn, pled guilty Monday to sales tax fraud and theft of property over $10,000. The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the guilty plea of Irbash, 45.

Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Mark Ward accepted Irbash's guilty pleas. Judge Ward sentenced Irbash to the workhouse for one year on sales tax fraud and three years on theft of property, with the sentences to run concurrently. In lieu of confinement, Irbash was placed on probation for five years and ordered to make full restitution to the Department of Revenue in the amount of $21,463.96.

"This investigation serves as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies," Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts said. "Sales tax revenues collected by retailers are never property of the retailer. These sales tax collections are property of our state and local governments and must be remitted to the state as required by law."

The Department of Revenue pursued this criminal case in cooperation with Shelby County District Attorney Amy 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 and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2013 fiscal year, it collected $11.7 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.2 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the Department, visit www.TN.gov/revenue.