Former Memphis Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Theft and Sales Tax Fraud
MEMPHIS - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Monday’s guilty plea of Said Jaber, 47, the former owner of Whitten Express.
On Monday, Judge James Beasley accepted Jaber’s guilty plea to one felony count of theft over $10,000, and one count of sales tax fraud. Jaber was sentenced to six years in jail and ordered to pay restitution of $69,789.77. In lieu of jail, Jaber was placed on 10 years supervised probation and ordered to pay $500 per month restitution.
A Shelby County Grand Jury previously indicted Jaber on February 9, 2017, on seven counts of felony sales tax fraud, one felony count of theft of property, and two felony counts of money laundering
“It is a felony for retailers to collect sales tax from the public and then fail to remit it to the state,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “It is a breach of the public trust, and the Department of Revenue will never quit pursuing criminal sanctions to provide accountability for these actions.”
The Department pursued this criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Amy Weirich’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. During the 2017 fiscal year, it collected $13.9 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.7 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the Department, visit www.tn.gov/revenue.