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For immediate release

November 19, 2014

Former Jacksonville Used Car Dealer Arrested

Charles A Turpin II, 43, operator of TNS Auto Sales, Inc., has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $22,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send to the state, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Mr. Turpin, who lives in Orange Park, was arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff's Department on November 14, 2014 on felony charges relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. TNS Auto Sales, now closed, was located at 9171 103rd Street in Jacksonville.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Turpin collected sales tax from customers of his business. However, during the period beginning in November 2009 through March 2012, he failed to account for and 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 Jacksonville at 904-359-6671.

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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