Former Shelby County Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Theft and Sales Tax Evasion

Thursday, September 03, 2009 | 10:17 am

MEMPHIS - The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to the Aug. 31, 2009 guilty plea by Robert H. Geerdes, age 69, former owner of Colonial Register Service.

Geerdes pleaded guilty to one Class C felony count of Theft Over $10,000 in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103, and one Class E felony count of Sales Tax Evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g). As part of the plea agreement, Geerdes is required to pay $10,569.00 in restitution to the State of Tennessee for sales tax he collected but intentionally did not remit from Jan. 2001 through Sept. 2004. Geerdes’ sentence was deferred and he was placed on judicial diversion for four years.

“The majority of businesses pay appropriate taxes,” said Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr. “This case serves as a warning to others who think they can get away with tax fraud in Tennessee. We will continue to pursue criminal activity and prosecute tax evaders to maintain fairness in our tax structure for Tennesseans.”
 
This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General William L. Gibbons’ 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 established by the legislature and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 92 percent of total state tax revenue. During the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the department collected $10.2 billion in state taxes and fees. In addition to collecting state taxes, $1.9 billion of local sales tax was collected by the department for local governments during the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to www.TN.gov/revenue.
  
Related news: June 9, 2009 – Two Memphis Business Owners Charged with Theft and Sales Tax Evasion (http://news.tennesseeanytime.org/node/2086).
 
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