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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release: Mar. 26, 2013

Campbell County Business Owner Pleads To Sales Tax Evasion Charges

Jacksboro, Tenn. - On March 25, 2013, Riyaz Kherani, owner of Avon Amoco, located in Jellico, entered a plea of Nolo Contendere to two counts of tax evasion in Campbell County Criminal Court. Campbell County Judge Shayne Sexton sentenced Kherani, age 47, to two years probation and ordered him to pay restitution to the state in the amount of $43,074.29. The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the plea and sentencing of Kherani, a resident of Knoxville, Tennessee.

"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 never property of the retailer and are always the property of our state and local governments. These taxes must be remitted to the state as required by law. Consumers who pay the tax deserve to know that the money will be used by the state and local governments for the common good. The department cannot and will not allow people engaged in fraudulent tax activities to have a competitive advantage over honest business people."

This case was pursued criminally 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, over $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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