Shelby County Business Owner Arrested for Sales Tax EvasionMonday, June 07, 2010 | 12:07 pm
MEMPHIS - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the June 5, 2010, arrest of Alza L. Azor, age 57, in Shelby County. Azor was a corporate officer of Azor’s Liquor, Inc., located in Memphis, Tenn. Azor was arrested by deputies of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.
On May 27, 2010, Azor was indicted by a Shelby County Grand Jury on one Class E felony count of tax evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g) and one Class D felony count of Theft of Property in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103. The indictment charges that in Oct. 2005 through June 2006, Azor willfully attempted to evade or defeat sales tax due the State of Tennessee in the amount of $9,241.89.
If convicted, Azor could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000 for the one count of tax evasion, and a maximum of four years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $5,000 for the one count of theft of property.
“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 Shelby County District Attorney William L. Gibbons’ office. Citizens who suspect violations of the Tennessee 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 2009-2010 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 2009-2010 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 (http://www.tennessee.gov/revenue).