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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release: July 2, 2012

Knox County Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion and Other Charges

Clinton, Tenn. - On June 29, 2012, Jerry Lee Hatmaker, 65, of Knoxville, TN pled guilty to one felony count of tax evasion regarding obstructing the state's collection of use tax by falsifying records relating to his purchase of a boat. The fraud resulted in underreported use tax totaling $2,050.50. Hatmaker also pled guilty to felony counts of filing a false report and forgery, and one misdemeanor count of perjury. The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to these guilty pleas.

Anderson County Criminal Court Judge Donald Elledge granted Hatmaker judicial diversion. He was placed on one year supervised probation and ordered to make full restitution.

"The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity," said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. "This plea underscores the department's ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee's tax laws."

This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General Dave Clark'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