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March 3, 2014

Former Tallahassee Mattress Store Owner Arrested

Carol Ann Jones, 62, former owner of Rising Sun Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Good Morning Mattress Center, has been arrested on charges that she stole more than $23,000 in sales tax she collected from customers, but failed to send to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Ms. Jones, who lives in Davenport, was arrested by the Leon County Sheriff's Department on March 1 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, she 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.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Ms. Jones collected sales tax from customers at her business. However, during various periods from August 2012 through August 2013, she failed to 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. Good Morning Mattress Center, now closed, was located at 2819 Mahan Drive in Tallahassee.

"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 Tallahassee at 850-487-0461.

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.