For Immediate Release: May 3, 2013
Greene County Business Owner Surrenders on Sales Tax Evasion Charges
Greeneville, Tenn. - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and surrender of William Justin Wyatt, age 33, of Knoxville, TN. On May 3, 2013, Wyatt surrendered to Special Agents at the Greene County Detention Facility. Bond was set at $20,000.
On May 1, 2013, the Greene County Grand Jury indicted Wyatt on 18 Class E felony counts of sales tax evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g) and one Class C felony of Forgery in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-114. The indictments charge that Wyatt knowingly filed fraudulent sales tax returns with the State of Tennessee during the period January 2008 through July 2009, on behalf of Kiker's Tobacco Outlet, LLC, d/b/a Kiker's Tobacco Outlet, located at 926 Snapps Ferry Road, Greeneville, TN. Wyatt was the manager of Kiker's Tobacco Outlet during the period charged.
"Tennessee's tax structure depends on taxpayers voluntarily complying with the laws," said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. "Taxpayer's 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."
If convicted, Wyatt could be sentenced up to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000 for each count of the sales tax evasion and a maximum of six years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $10,000 for forgery.
Prosecution of this criminal case was pursued by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General C. Berkeley Bell'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).
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 2012 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.