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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release: Jan. 20, 2012

Shelby County Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Theft

Memphis, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Revenue's Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to the January 19, 2012, guilty plea of Omar Samter. Samter, 42, owner of Breedlove Grocery, located at 810 Breedlove Street in Memphis, was sentenced by Judge Carolyn Wade Blackett.

Samter pled guilty to one count of theft of property over $1,000, in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103, a Class D felony. Judge Blackett granted Samter's request for judicial diversion and placed him on supervised probation for two years. Samter was ordered to pay full restitution to the Tennessee Department of Revenue in the amount of $4,546.79. In addition, civil taxes, penalties, and interest may be due to the state.

"Tennessee's tax structure depends on taxpayers voluntarily complying with the laws," said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. "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 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 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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