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Former Business Owner Indicted on Theft and Tax Charges

Tuesday, July 07, 2020 | 09:13am

BENTON, Tenn. - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and arrest of Richard Tyler, Jr., former owner of Whitewater Grill in Ocoee, TN.  The Polk County Sherriff’s Office arrested Tyler, 63, Monday evening, and his bond was set at $30,000.  Special agents from the Tennessee Department of Revenue assisted the Sherriff’s Office.

On Monday, the Polk County Grand Jury indicted Tyler on one count of theft of property between $10,000 and $60,000 and one count of tax evasion.

“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, Tyler could be sentenced to a maximum of six years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $10,000 for theft of property and up to two years and fined $3,000 for tax evasion.

The department is pursuing the criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Stephen Crump’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