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Tipton County Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Felony Tax Evasion Theft and False Vehicle Registration

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | 04:07pm

COVINGTON - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Monday’s guilty plea of David Aaron Whaley to felony tax evasion, theft, and false vehicle registration. Whaley is the owner of Whaley’s Auto Repair and Towing, in Covington. Whaley, 38, is scheduled for sentencing on April 29.

Whaley pleaded guilty to theft of property over $10,000, failure to remit collected sales tax, tax evasion, falsifying vehicle registrations, and falsification of a tax-exempt form. These charges stemmed from his failure to remit collected tax from customers at his business. He also provided false documents when he registered motor vehicles at the Tipton County Clerk's Office.

“The Department of Revenue has always been committed to making sure Tennessee’s tax laws and procedures are applied uniformly to ensure fairness,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “We can never allow individuals engaged in fraudulent tax activity to have a competitive advantage over honest Tennesseans.”

Whaley’s conviction means he could be sentenced to a maximum of six years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $10,000 for each charge of theft. He could also be sentenced up to two years and fined up to $3,000 for each charge of failing to remit tax, tax evasion, falsifying vehicle registrations, and falsification of a tax-exempt form.

The Department pursued the criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Mark Davidson’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, as well as the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2018 fiscal year, it collected $14.5 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.8 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the Department, visit www.tn.gov/revenue.