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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release: Dec. 20, 2012

Campbell County Business Owner Surrenders on Sales Tax Evasion Charges

Jacksboro, Tenn. - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and surrender of Riyaz Kherani, age 47, of Knoxville, TN. On December 12, 2012, Kherani surrendered to Special Agents at the Campbell County Detention Facility. Bond was set at $25,000.

On December 7, 2012, the Campbell County Grand Jury indicted Kherani on 24 Class E felony counts of sales tax evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g). The indictment charges that Kherani willfully attempted to evade $43,074.29 in sales tax due the State of Tennessee during the period January 2008 through December 2009, by causing the filing of false and fraudulent sales tax returns on behalf of Sunderji, Inc., d/b/a Avon Amoco, located at 1728 5th Street, Jellico, TN.

"Tennessee's tax structure depends on taxpayers voluntarily complying with the laws," said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. "Taxpayer's who collect but intentionally do not remit sales tax, breach the public's trust and violate the criminal laws of the State. This case underscores our commitment to rigorous and fair administration of Tennessee's tax laws."

If convicted, Kherani could be sentenced up to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000 for each of the tax evasion counts.

Prosecution of this criminal case was pursued by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones' 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 2012 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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