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Owner of the Wine Cellar Arrested on Tax Fraud, Theft and Money Laundering Charges

Thursday, December 07, 2017 | 04:48pm

MURFREESBORO - Department of Revenue special agents arrested a Murfreesboro liquor store owner on Thursday on multiple tax charges. The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the arrest of Kishan Harish Patel, 27, at his store, The Wine Cellar.  Bond has been set at $25,000.

On Monday, the Rutherford County Grand Jury indicted Patel on 10 Class E felony counts of sales tax fraud, one Class B felony count of theft over $60,000, and 10 Class B felony counts of money laundering. The indictments allege Patel evaded taxes due by failing to file sales tax returns.

“Most businesses in Tennessee remit the tax dollars they collect from customers,” said Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano.  “This indictment should serve as a warning to those that believe they can get away with tax fraud.  Our Department remains committed to prosecuting tax evaders to ensure a level playing for all businesses.”

If convicted, Patel could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000 for each count of tax fraud. He could also be sentenced to a maximum of six years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $10,000 for each count of theft and money laundering.  

The Department pursued these criminal cases in cooperation with District Attorney General John Carney and his staff. 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 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