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April 30, 2002

Volusia Scuba Shop Owner Arrested on Charges of Tax Theft

The owner of a Holly Hill dive shop has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $10,000 in sales tax that he collected from customers but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) announced.

David Michael Nolan, 41, of Daytona Beach, turned himself in to the Volusia County Sheriff's Department late Monday. He faces felony charges of theft of state funds and failure to file tax returns as required by law. 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. Nolan operates Atlantic Scuba at 724 Ridgewood Road in Holly Hill. The business formerly operated in Daytona Beach.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Nolan collected tax from customers on a routine basis at his dive shop. However, a review of business records showed that Nolan's company failed to send in $10,348.09 in tax that he had collected from customers between February 1998 and October 2001, Revenue investigators said. Nolan also failed to file tax returns as required by law during various periods over this time, investigators charged. Revenue investigators said that DOR collections staffers tried to work with Nolan to encourage him to comply with tax law, but he failed to do so.

"To be fair, tax law must apply uniformly to all businesses," said Jim Zingale, executive director of the Revenue Department. "Tax thieves steal money that the public pays to support vital public services, such as law enforcement and education. Businesses that fail to comply with tax law also steal an unearned, undeserved competitive advantage over honest businesspeople. The Department cannot and will not allow this to occur."

If you have information about tax theft, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in Daytona Beach at 386-274-6622.