For Immediate Release: May 24, 2012
Former Memphis Business Owner Arrested on Tennessee Tax Evasion
and Theft Charges
Memphis, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Revenue's Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to the arrest of Musbah Alfuqaha, age 63, of 321 South Browan, Chadbrom, North Carolina. Mr. Alfuqaha was a former owner of KW Beer, Food, and Tobacco, located at 2686 Kirby Whitten Road, Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Alfuqaha was arrested by Shelby County Sheriff's deputies on May 21, 2012.
On September 27, 2011, Mr. Alfuqaha was indicted by a Shelby County Grand Jury on charges of tax evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440, a Class E felony, and one count of Theft of Property Over $10,000 in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-103, a Class C felony. If convicted, Mr. Alfuqaha could be sentenced up to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000 for the falsification of tax revenue and a maximum of six years in the state penitentiary and fined $10,000 on the theft of property charge. Additional civil taxes, penalties, and interest will be due the state once the criminal case is resolved.
"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 property of our state and local governments and 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."
Prosecution of this criminal case was pursued by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich. Commissioner Roberts expressed his appreciation for the excellent cooperation the department has enjoyed with General Weirich. 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.