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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release: May 23, 2013

Former Knox County Business Owner Pleads
to Sales Tax Evasion Charges

Knoxville, Tenn. - On May 23, 2013, Brahim Mazouzi, former owner of Magnolia Market, located in Knoxville, entered a Best Interest plea to two counts of tax evasion in Knox County Criminal Court. Knox County Judge Steven Sword sentenced Mazouzi, age 44, to four years’ probation and ordered him to pay restitution to the state in the amount of $25,521.59. The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the plea and sentencing of Mazouzi.

"This investigation serves as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies,"said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. "Sales tax revenues collected by retailers are never property of the retailer and are always the property of our state and local governments. These taxes must be remitted to the state as required by law. Consumers who pay the tax deserve to know that the money will be used by the state and local governments for the common good. The department cannot and will not allow people engaged in fraudulent tax activities to have a competitive advantage over honest business people."

This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General Randall Nichols' 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, over $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.

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