Portland Businesswoman Charged With Sales Tax Evasion and Theft

Monday, May 19, 2014 | 04:46pm

Nashville, Tenn. -The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and arrest of Jennifer Livingston for sales tax evasion and theft.  Revenue special agents arrested Livingston, 42, Monday at her home in Portland, Tenn.

On May 9, the Sumner County Grand Jury indicted Livingston on 36 Class E felony counts of sales tax evasion and one Class C felony count of theft of property over $10,000.  The indictments charge that from June 2010 through May 2013, Livingston failed to report $498,880.10 in taxable sales and failed to remit $46,151.78 in sales tax collected from customers of her business, Jen's Place, which is located in Portland. Bond was set at $5,000.

"This investigation will serve as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies," said Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts. "When sales tax revenues are collected by a retailer they are at all times property of the state or local government and must be remitted to the state."

If convicted, Livingston could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000 for each count of attempted sales tax evasion and a maximum of six years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $10,000 for theft of property.

This case was pursued criminally by the Department in cooperation with District Attorney Ray Whitley'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.