Memphis Business Owner Arrested on Theft, Sales Tax Fraud and Fabricating Evidence ChargesMonday, February 08, 2010 | 03:42 pm
MEMPHIS- The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to the Feb. 5 arrest of Yousef Salim, owner of Stereo Sound USA, on charges of theft, sales tax fraud, and fabricating evidence.
On Feb. 2, 2010, the Shelby County Grand Jury returned an 11-count indictment; one count of Theft Over $1,000, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103, a Class D Felony; nine counts of Sales Tax Fraud, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g), a Class E felony; and one count of Fabricating Evidence, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-16-503, a Class C Felony. The indictments charge that between Jan. 1, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2004, Salim knowingly obtained control over a sum of money which was property of the State of Tennessee. Additionally, between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2004, Salim willfully attempted to evade tax due the State of Tennessee and fabricated evidence.
If convicted, Salim could be sentenced to a maximum of four years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $5,000 for the theft charge. The tax evasion charge carries a maximum sentence of two years and a fine of up to $3,000 per count, and the fabricating evidence charge carries a maximum of six years and a fine of up to $10,000. Bond was set $10,000.
“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."
This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General William 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.