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May 11, 2011

BOYNTON BEACH CAR DEALER ARRESTED

Dennis F. Kennedy, 36, the former owner of Exotic Motorcars and Jewelry, Inc., located in Boynton Beach has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $188,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Kennedy, who also lives in Boynton Beach, was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on May 9, 2011, on felony charges relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. The business was located at 102 Commerce Road in Boynton Beach.

According to Revenue Department investigators Mr. Kennedy collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods beginning in 2007 and lasting through periods in 2009, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected. Investigators found that Mr. Kennedy had illegally kept taxpayers’ money. Under state law, sales tax is the property of the state at the moment of collection.

"Most Florida businesses do an excellent job of meeting the state's requirements for collecting and submitting sales tax, which pays for services Floridians need," said Lisa Vickers, Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue. "Individuals who collect tax but don't send it in are stealing taxpayer dollars and gaining an unfair financial advantage over honest businesses. It's our job to ensure that Florida's tax laws are administered fairly."

If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in Coral Springs at 954-346-2946.

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.