For Immediate Release: June 3, 2014
Former Greene County Businessman Pleads Guilty to Sales Tax Evasion
Greeneville, Tenn. - William Justin Wyatt, 34, former owner of Kiker's Tobacco Outlet, located at 926 Snapps Ferry Road in Greeneville, pleaded guilty to 17 felony counts of sales tax evasion, one count of facilitation of forgery and one count of facilitation of theft over $60,000, in Hawkins County Criminal Court Tuesday.
Hawkins County Judge John Dugger, Jr., sentenced Wyatt to six years supervised probation and ordered him to pay $65,386.91 in restitution to the state for sales tax owed. The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Wyatt's plea and sentencing.
"This investigation serves as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies," Director of Special Investigations Tommy Sneed said. "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."
The Department pursued the criminal case 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).
The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of 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, visit www.tn.gov/revenue.