Skip to Main Content

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

Former Cocke County Businessman Pleads to Tax Evasion and Theft

Wednesday, July 01, 2020 | 10:35am

NEWPORT ⎯ The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Melvin James Tucker pleading guilty to sales tax evasion and theft charges.

Last week, Judge Carter Moore sentenced Tucker, the former manager of The Hideaway in Newport, to three years of probation. The court also ordered him to pay $2,944.50 in restitution to the state.

“Most businesses in Tennessee remit the tax dollars they collect from customers,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “This guilty plea should serve as a warning to those that believe they can get away with tax fraud. Our department remains committed to prosecuting tax evaders to ensure a level playing for all businesses.”

The department pursued this criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney James Dunn’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 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

To learn more about the department, visit