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Steak House & Business Owner Indicted on Multiple Tax Charges

Thursday, March 05, 2020 | 08:08am

COVINGTON -  The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and arrest of Adam Kelley, the owner of Wyatt Earp’s Steak House. Revenue special agents arrested Kelley, 43, at his home. His bond was set at $100,000.

On Tuesday, the Tipton County Grand Jury indicted Kelley on a 59-count indictment, which included theft of property over $250,000, filing false sales tax returns, and one count of money laundering. These charges stem from filing false sales tax returns and failing to remit collected sales tax.

“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.”

If convicted, Kelley could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $50,000 for theft of property. He could also be sentenced for up to 12 years and fined up to $25,000 for money laundering.  His business, Wyatt Earp’s Steak House, was also indicted, and it could be fined up to $50,000 for each tax charge.

The Department is pursuing 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 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