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Special Investigations News Release

For Immediate Release:  Aug. 5, 2014

Davidson County Tax Preparer Arrested a Second Time for Sales Tax Evasion and Theft

Nashville, Tenn. - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to additional charges against Charles Bright, Sr., for sales tax evasion and theft. Bright, 55, surrendered himself to the Metro Nashville Police Department Tuesday.

On July 21, a Davidson County Grand Jury indicted Bright on multiple Class E felony counts of sales tax evasion and one Class B felony count of theft of property over $60,000.

The indictments charge that Bright, a self-employed tax preparer, took sales tax money from clients and intentionally withheld that money from the state without the client's knowledge. Bright was previously indicted in November 2012 for sales tax evasion, theft and impersonating a licensed professional. He currently awaits a trial date for those charges.

"When sales tax is collected from the public and not remitted, it is a breach of the public trust and a crime," Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts said. "The Department of Revenue will aggressively pursue criminal sanctions and demands accountability for such actions, especially if a tax return preparer victimizes honest business owners. Taxpayers should be careful if their preparer requests tax payments be made directly to them instead of the Department of Revenue."

If convicted, Bright could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000 for each count of sales tax evasion. He could also be sentenced to a maximum of 12 years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $25,000 for theft of property.

The Department of Revenue worked on this case in cooperation with District Attorney General Victor Johnson and his staff. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee's revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department of Revenue collects approximately 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2013 fiscal year, the Department collected $11.7 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.2 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the Department, visit www.TN.gov/revenue.

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