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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release: Jan. 17, 2012

Shelby County Market Owner Arrested on Sales Tax Evasion and Theft Charges

Nashville, Tenn. - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and subsequent arrest of Sam Taylor, 49, a corporate officer of Payless Tobacco, Inc. on charges of sales tax evasion and theft of property. Taylor was arrested this morning. A bond hearing will be conducted at a later date.

On January 12, 2011, Sam Taylor was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury on one Class B felony for theft over $60,000 in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103. Taylor was also indicted on one count of tax evasion, a Class E Felony for the period June 2004 through Dec. 2006 in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g).

If convicted, Taylor could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000 for sales tax evasion and a maximum of twelve years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $25,000 for theft of property.

"I believe that this investigation will serve as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies," said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. "When sales tax revenues are collected by a retailer they are at all times property of the state or local government 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."

Commissioner Roberts expressed his appreciation for the excellent cooperation the department has enjoyed 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).

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