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May 23, 2011

BAY COUNTY COUPLE ARRESTED FOR THEFT OF STATE FUNDS

Kenneth Roush, 44, and his wife Kathleen Roush, 45, owners of Panhandle Transmission, Inc. have been arrested on charges that they stole more than $8,000 in sales tax they collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

The couple, (that lives in Youngstown), was arrested by the Bay County Sheriff's Department on March 18 and 20, 2011 respectively, on felony charges relating to theft of state funds and failing to file six consecutive returns. If convicted, they each face 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.

According to Revenue Department investigators, the couple collected tax from customers at their business. However, during various periods beginning in 2006 and lasting through periods in 2011, they failed to send into the state all of the sales taxes that they collected, nor file tax returns as required by law. 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 Panama City at 850-747-5614.

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.