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For immediate release

July 25, 2014

Former Milton Restaurant Owner Arrested

Dorothy M. Smith, 52, owner of Jus Momma, LLC, doing business as Momma's Place, has been arrested on charges that she stole more than $9,900 in sales tax she collected from customers, but failed to send to the state, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Ms. Smith, who formerly resided in Pace, Florida was arrested by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Department on July 23, 2014 on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to theft of state funds and refusal to file sales and use tax returns. If convicted, she faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Ms. Smith collected sales tax from customers of her restaurant. However, during various periods beginning in July 2012 through July 2013, she failed to file sales tax returns and send to the state all of the sales taxes that she had collected from her customers. Under state law, sales tax is the property of the state at the moment of collection. Momma's Place, now closed, was located at 6550 Caroline Street in Milton.

"It is an honor to serve the vast majority of Florida businesses who comply with State tax requirements," said Marshall Stranburg, Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue. "For those that don't, it is our job to enforce the law and ensure honest businesses are not placed at a competitive disadvantage by those who ignore the law or intentionally collect and steal taxpayer dollars."

If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in Pensacola at 850-595-5188.

Note: Due to the confidential nature of taxpayer records, generally the information found in this release is the only information available from the Department of Revenue concerning this matter. Other information may be available through the arresting agency and the local Clerk of Court.

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