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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release: Nov. 22, 2013

Sumner County Business Owner Guilty of Sales Tax Evasion and Theft

Nashville, Tenn. - Syeda N. Sajjad, 57, owner of Twin Valley Market, entered a "best interest" plea to charges of sales tax evasion and theft in Sumner County Criminal Court Thursday.

The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Sajjad's plea. A "best interest" plea happens when a person does not admit guilt, but admits that sufficient evidence exists to likely convict him or her of the offense.

On April 4, 2013, Sajjad was indicted by a Sumner County Grand Jury on 24 Class E felony counts of sales tax evasion and one Class C felony count of theft over $10,000.

Judge Dee David Gay accepted Sajjad's plea and sentenced her to serve five years in jail. The sentence was suspended, and she was placed on five years supervised probation. Sajjad was also ordered to pay the state restitution of $18,970.

"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 will aggressively pursue criminal sanctions and demands accountability for such actions."

The Department of Revenue pursued the criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney General L. Ray Whitley'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 the state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2013 fiscal year, it collected $11.7 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.2 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the department, log on to www.TN.gov/revenue.

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