Shelby County Resident Pleads "No Contest" to Attempted Tax Evasion
DeStefanis Failed to Pay Sales Tax on Vehicles Purchased by His Montana LLC
LEBANON, Tenn. - Christopher DeStefanis, 69, pleaded “no contest” to one count of attempted tax evasion in a Wilson County Criminal Court last week. Judge Brody Kane sentenced DeStefanis to 11 months and 29 days probation for attempted tax evasion. A restitution hearing was set for a later date.
DeStefanis, who was previously indicted by a Wilson County Grand Jury for tax evasion, violated Tennessee law by failing to pay sales tax on vehicles purchased by his Montana LLC, and signing a sworn affidavit that the vehicles would be removed from the state within three days of purchase.
“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 not be held accountable."
“We want Tennesseans to know that individuals cannot evade sales tax by falsifying registration documents and failing to register vehicles as the law requires,” Special Investigations Director Tommy Sneed said. “Tennessee citizens who engage in this type of activity will be held accountable.”
The department pursued this criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Jason Lawson’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, and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The department collects around 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2020 fiscal year, it collected $15.1 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $3.2 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the department, visit www.tn.gov/revenue.