Skip to Main Content

Find COVID-19 Information and Resources
Department of Revenue COVID-19 Updates
Out-of-state Dealers and Marketplace Facilitators Information

Knox County Resident Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

Friday, February 14, 2020 | 08:54am

KNOXVILLE - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Laurence Lavell Secrest pleading guilty to one count tax evasion Thursday.

In April 2016, Secrest underreported the purchase price of his personal boat at the Knox County Clerk’s office, in order to evade a $5,390 tax bill. Judge Steven Sword accepted Secrest’s guilty plea and sentenced him to one year of unsupervised probation.

“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.”

The Department pursued the criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Charme Allen’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 around 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2019 fiscal year, it collected $15.3 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $3 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the Department, visit