Missouri Business Owner Surrenders on Sales Tax Evasion

Monday, March 14, 2011 | 10:58 am
Nashville, Tenn.The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and subsequent surrender of Larry Burt Thornton, age 58, for sales tax evasion. On March 3, Thornton, President of W-S Window & Door Company, Inc., located in St. Louis, MO, turned himself in to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department. Bond was set at $25,000.
 
On Feb. 1, 2011, the Davidson County Grand Jury returned a 1 count indictment for Evasion of Sales Tax in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g), a Class E felony. The indictment charged Thornton intentionally failed to report and remit sales he had collected from Tennessee customers Tennessee totaling $37,831.01 for the month of May 2008.
 
“When sales tax is collected from the public and not remitted, it is a breach of the public trust and a crime,” said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. “The Department of Revenue aggressively pursues criminal sanctions and demands accountability for such actions.”
 
If convicted, Thornton could be sentenced up to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000.
 
Prosecution of this criminal case was pursued by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General Victor Johnson’s 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 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, the Department of Revenue collects taxes for local, county and municipal governments. During the 2009-2010 fiscal year, local government collections by the Department of Revenue exceeded $1.9 billion. 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.
 
 
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