Former Memphis Business Owner Pleads Guilty; Sentenced on Sales Tax Evasion and Theft Charges

Monday, August 22, 2011 | 02:40 pm

MEMPHIS - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the Aug. 18, 2011, guilty plea and sentencing of Aman Oula, former owner of Shop-N-Go, located at 2141 Whitney, Memphis, Tenn.  Oula plead guilty to one count of Sales Tax Evasion, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440, a Class E felony, and one count of Theft of Property Over $10,000, a violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103, a Class C felony. 

Judge Chris Craft sentenced Oula to three years for Sales Tax Evasion, and three years for Theft of Property with the charges to run concurrently.  Judge Craft deferred the sentence and placed Oula on three years probation.  Oula was ordered to pay full restitution of the criminal tax due the state of $12,517.17 within 30 days.  In addition, civil taxes, penalties and interest may be due the state.

“I believe that this investigation will serve as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies,” said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. “When sales tax revenues are collected by a retailer they are at all times property of the state or local government and must be remitted to the state. Consumers who pay the tax deserve to know that the money will be used by the state and local governments for the common good.”

Prosecution of this criminal case was pursued by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich. Commissioner Roberts expressed his appreciation for the excellent cooperation the department has enjoyed with General Weirich.  Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee’s revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).

In addition to collecting state taxes, $2.0 billion of local sales and business taxes were collected by the department for local governments during the 2010-2011 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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