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For immediate release

August 18, 2014

West Palm Beach Restaurant Owner Arrested

Leonardo Wiuker, 53, owner of Phoenix Aventura, Inc, doing business as Taco Vida, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $19,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send to the state, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Mr. Wiuker, who lives in Jupiter, was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department on August 12 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he 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. Taco Vida is located at 851 Village Boulevard in West Palm Beach.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Wiuker collected sales tax from the customers at his restaurant. However, during the period from April through December 2013, he failed to send to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected from his customers. Under state law, sales tax is the property of the state at the moment of collection.

"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 Coral Springs at 954-346-2850.

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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