Shelby County Business Owner Arrested for Tax Evasion

Friday, December 10, 2010 | 11:36 am
Memphis - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the Dec. 9, 2010 arrest of Ahmed M. Al Shujaa, age 45, in Shelby County. Al Shujaa, the owner of L&S Grocery, located at 1137 Thomas Street, Memphis, Tenn., and Two Stars, located at 1123 Dellwood Avenue, Memphis, Tenn., was arrested by deputies of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.
 
On Oct. 1, 2010, Al Shujaa was indicted by a Shelby County Grand Jury on two Class E felony counts of Tax Evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g) and two Class C felony counts of Theft of Property in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103. The indictment charges that from Jan. 2006 through Jan. 2009, Al Shujaa willfully attempted to evade or defeat sales tax due the State of Tennessee in the amount of $52,634.91. If convicted, Al Shujaa 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 six years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $10,000 for the one count of theft of property.
 
“Tennessee’s tax structure depends on taxpayers voluntarily complying with the laws,” said Revenue Commissioner Charles Trost. “Taxpayers who collect but intentionally do not remit sales tax, breach the public’s trust and violate the criminal laws of the State. This case underscores our commitment to rigorous and fair administration of Tennessee’s tax laws.”
 
Prosecution of this criminal case was pursued by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General William L. Gibbons’ office. Commissioner Trost expressed his appreciation for the excellent cooperation the department has enjoyed with General Gibbons. 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 91 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. In 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.
 
###