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June 23, 2014

Orlando Sign Company Owner Arrested

David Raymond Nelson, 52, operator of Signexpress USA, Inc., has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $1,500 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send to the state, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Mr. Nelson, who lives in Orlando, was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff's Department on June 12, 2014 on felony charges relating to theft of state funds and failure to file sales and use tax returns. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines for each offense, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Signexpress USA is located at 65 Drennen Road in Orlando.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Nelson collected sales tax from customers of his business. However, during various periods starting in September of 2009 through June of 2013, he failed to file sales tax returns and failed to send to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected from his customers. 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, 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 Maitland at 407-475-1250.

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.