Harrogate Resident Surrenders To Authorities on Sales Tax Evasion Charges

Friday, December 18, 2009 | 09:03 am
HARROGATE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to yesterday’s surrender of Gary Douglas Lee on tax evasion charges. Lee, age 47, turned himself in to Claiborne County Justice Center officials. Bond was set at $2,500.  
On Dec. 17, 2009, the Claiborne County Grand Jury returned a one-count indictment for evasion of use tax in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g), a Class E felony. The indictment charges Lee intentionally filed false and fraudulent documents with the Claiborne County Clerk’s Office in April 2008, regarding his registration of a houseboat. By understating the actual purchase price of the houseboat, Lee failed to remit $5,740.00 in use tax due the State of Tennessee.
“The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity," said Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr. "This investigation underscores our department's ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee's tax laws."
If convicted, Lee could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000.   Lee is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan.19, 2010 in the Claiborne County Criminal Court.
This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General William Paul Phillips’ 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.