Memphis Bonding Company Owner Sentenced on Theft Charges
MEMPHIS - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Tuesday’s sentencing of George Austin Hitt. Hitt, 38, is the president of Memphis Bonding Company, located at 279 Exchange Avenue in Memphis.
On April 12, 2016, the Shelby County Grand Jury indicted Hitt on 22 Class E felony counts of falsification of bail bond tax returns, one Class E felony count of bail bond tax evasion, and one Class A felony count of theft of property over $250,000. The indictments charged that from January 2010 through June 2015, Hitt failed to remit bail bond tax from bonds written at Memphis Bonding Company and Tennessee Bonding Company.
On June 22, 2017, Hitt pleaded no contest to felony theft of property and paid restitution of $311,817 to the state. Tuesday, Judge James Beasley sentenced Hitt to eight years in the state penitentiary and placed him on state supervised probation in lieu of confinement.
“Our state’s tax structure depends on voluntary taxpayer compliance to remit money collected from customers,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “Taxpayers who fail to remit collected taxes violate the public trust and the criminal laws of Tennessee. This guilty plea highlights our rigorous and impartial administration of the state’s tax laws.”
The Department pursued this criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney General Amy Weirich and her 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 2016 fiscal year, it collected $13.5 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.6 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the Department, visit www.tn.gov/revenue.