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May 8, 2013

Former Alachua County Dress Shop Owner Arrested

Paul Rhodenizer, the former owner of Jay's Dress Shop, located in Gainesville, Florida, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $28,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Rhodenizer, 66, who also lives in Gainesville, was arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office May 6, 2013 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible payment of penalty and investigative costs. Jay's Dress Shop was located at 3501 South West 2nd Avenue in Gainesville.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Rhodenizer collected tax from customers at his shop. However, during various periods beginning in 2010, lasting through periods in 2012, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that were collected and filed a false tax return.

“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 Alachua at 386-418-4415.

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.