Former Memphis Car Dealer Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Theft
MEMPHIS – The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to yesterday’s guilty plea of Joseph Williams, 57, to one count of sales tax fraud and one count of theft over $60,000. Williams was the former managing partner of The People’s Choice Auto Sales, LLC, in Memphis.
Judge Carolyn Wade-Blackett accepted Williams’ guilty plea and sentenced him to 10 years in the Tennessee Department of Corrections. The judge suspended William’s prison sentence, placed him on 12 years of probation, and ordered him to pay $1,489,730.85 in restitution to the Department of Revenue.
“It is a felony for retailers to collect sales tax from the public and fraudulently not 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 such actions.”
The Department pursued this criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Amy P. 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, as well as 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.