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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release: Feb. 7, 2012

Former Lauderdale County Business Owner Arrested for Tax Evasion

Memphis, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Revenue's Special Investigations Section conducted the sales tax investigation that led to the indictment and subsequent arrest of Carolynn Reeves, age 58. Reeves was the owner of Chisholm Lake Store in Halls, Tennessee, and Country Girl Steaks in Ripley, Tennessee. She was arrested by Lauderdale County Sheriff's deputies on February 7, 2012 and bond was set at $2,500.

On February 6, 2012, a Lauderdale County grand jury returned a one count indictment of tax evasion on Reeves in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g), a Class E Felony. The indictment charged Reeves with unlawfully, feloniously, and willfully attempting to evade or defeat sales tax due the State of Tennessee. If convicted of the Class E felony, Reeves could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000. Once the criminal case concludes, additional civil taxes, penalties and interest may be due the state.

"This investigation serves as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies," said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. "Sales tax revenues collected by retailers are the property of both state and local governments and must be remitted to the state. Consumers who pay the tax deserve to know that the money will be used by the state and local governments for the common good."

This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant'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).

In addition to collecting state taxes, $2.0 billion of local sales and business taxes were collected by the department for local governments during the 2011 fiscal year. Besides collecting taxes, the department enforces the revenue laws fairly and impartially in an effort to encourage voluntary taxpayer compliance. The department also apportions revenue collections for distribution to the various state funds and local units of government. To learn more about the department, log on to www.TN.gov/revenue.

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