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March 18, 2014

Former Broward County Restaurant Owner Arrested

William E. Zielke, 68, the former owner of Chateau De Ville, 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, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Zielke, 69, who lives in Fairport, New York, surrendered himself to the Broward County Sheriff's Office on March 13, 2014, on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to theft of state funds, and refusal to file returns and pay taxes due. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of tax, penalty and investigative costs. Chateau De Ville, now closed, was located at 4060 North Federal Highway in Lighthouse Point.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Zielke collected tax from customers at his restaurant. However, during various periods beginning in 2009, lasting through periods in 2010, he failed to send to the state all of the sales taxes that he collected or file tax returns as required by law.

"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.