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February 29, 2008

Women's Boutique Owner Arrested in over $ 13,000 Tax Theft Case

The owner of a Broward County women's boutique has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $13,000 in sales tax he collected from customers but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

William Robert Londos, 45, of Weston, was arrested by the Broward County Sheriff's Office on February 24, 2008 on felony charges relating to failure to file tax returns and pay tax. 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. Londos operated Anna Bella Boutique Las Olas, Inc., 1018 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Londos routinely collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods between June 2006 through August 2006, and December 2006 through March 2007, Londos failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected. Investigators found that Londos had illegally kept $13,046.74 in tax money. Under state law, sales tax is the property of the state at the moment of collection.

"Most Florida businesses do an excellent job of meeting the state's requirements for collecting and submitting sales tax, which pays for services Floridians need," said Lisa Echeverri, Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue. "Individuals who collect tax but don't send it in are stealing taxpayer dollars and gaining an unfair financial advantage over honest businesses. It's our job to ensure that Florida's tax laws are administered fairly."

If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in Coral Springs at 954-346-2850.