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April 22, 2013

Custom Truck Dealers Arrested In Tax Theft Case

Alex E. Evans, 51, and his wife Carolyn S. Evans, 45, the owners of Awesome Enterprise, Inc., a business that specializes in the sale of custom trucks, located in West Palm Beach, have been arrested on charges that they stole more than $88,000 in sales tax they collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

The couple, from Lake Worth, was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department on March 20, 2013, on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to theft of state funds and failure to file six consecutive sales tax returns. If convicted, each 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. Their business is located at 100 Truck & Trailer Way in West Palm Beach.

According to Revenue Department investigators, the couple collected tax from customers at their business. However, during various periods beginning in 2009 and lasting through periods in 2011, they failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that they had collected or file their sales tax returns as required by law. 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, Interim 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 West Palm Beach at 561-640-2874.

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.