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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release: May 30, 2012

Former Lauderdale County Business Owner Sentenced for
Tennessee Sales Tax Evasion

Ripley, Tenn. - On May 29, 2012, Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge Joe H. Walker III, sentenced Carolynn Reeves, age 58, to one year probation and ordered her to pay full restitution to the state. The sentencing was a result of Mrs. Reeves' guilty plea on May 17, 2012, to one count of Sales Tax Evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440, a Class E Felony. The Tennessee Department of Revenue's Special Investigations Section conducted the investigation that led to the guilty plea and sentencing of Mrs. Reeves for sales tax evasion.

Mrs. Reeves is the former owner of Chisholm Lake Store in Halls, Tenn., and Country Girl Steaks in Ripley, Tenn. Now that the criminal case is concluded, additional civil taxes, penalties, and interest may be due the state.

"When sales tax is collected from the public and not remitted, it is a breach of the public trust and a crime," said Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts. "The Department of Revenue aggressively pursues criminal sanctions and demands accountability for such actions."

This case was pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant'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 www.TN.gov/revenue.

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