Sumner County Businessman Surrenders on Sales Tax Evasion Charges

Friday, October 15, 2010 | 11:56 am
NASHVILLE – Ashok Patel, age 35, surrendered himself to Special Agents of the Tennessee Department of Revenue at the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office on sales tax evasion and theft of property charges on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010. The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and subsequent surrender of Patel, President of Apram, Inc., d/b/a American Discount Tobacco, located in Hendersonville, Tenn. Bond was set at $1,000.
 
On Oct. 5, 2010, the Sumner County Grand Jury returned a 14 count indictment for Evasion of Sales Tax in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g), a Class E felony, as well as one count of Theft of Property over $10,000, a Class C felony. The indictments charge Patel intentionally failed to report sales tax totaling $22,448.76 to the state from May 2006 through June 2007.
 
“When sales tax is collected from the public and not remitted, it is a breach of the public trust and a crime,” said Commissioner Charles Trost. “The Department of Revenue aggressively pursues criminal sanctions and demands accountability for such actions.” 
 
This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General Ray Whitley’s Office. Commissioner Trost expressed his appreciation for the excellent cooperation the department has enjoyed with General Whitley and his staff. 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 2009-2010 fiscal year, the department collected $10.1 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.
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