Davidson County Businessmen Charged with Conspiracy to Evade Sales Tax and TheftMonday, December 07, 2009 | 11:56 am
NASHVILLE - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment of Guirguis K. Awad, age 47, and his brother-in-law, Essam H. Eshak, age 38, on charges of conspiring to evade sales tax and theft. Awad and Eshak surrendered themselves to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on Dec. 4, 2009.
On Dec. 3, 2009, Awad and Eshak were indicted by a Davidson County Grand Jury on 42 Class E felony counts of Conspiring to Evade Sales Tax in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(e), and one Class B felony count of Theft of Property Over $60,000 in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103. The indictments charge that Awad and Eshak failed to remit $92,011.97of sales tax due the state of Tennessee by intentionally filing false and fraudulent sales tax returns from Jan. 2004 through June 2007. If convicted, both could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000 for each Class E felony count and a maximum of 12 years and fined $10,000 for the Class B felony count.
“The Department of Revenue is committed to applying Tennessee’s tax laws and policies uniformly to all taxpayers to ensure a level playing field,” said Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr. “The department cannot and will not allow people engaged in fraudulent tax activities to have a competitive advantage over honest businesspeople.”
This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with Davidson County District Attorney General Victor S. (Torry) Johnson. 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.
View this news release online. Go to www.TN.gov/revenue and click on Newsroom.