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June 24, 2013

Seminole County Used Car Dealer Arrested

Barbara R. Smith, the owner of BAS Specialty Cars Inc., a used car dealership that is located in Longwood, has been arrested on charges that she stole more than $67,000 in sales tax she collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Ms. Smith, 58, who lives in Astor, was arrested by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen sales tax, along with payment of penalty and investigative costs. BAS Specialty Cars is located at 1580 South Ronald Reagan Blvd. in Orlando.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Ms. Smith collected tax from customers at her dealership. However, during various periods beginning in 2009, lasting through periods in 2012, she failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that were collected.

“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 407-328-6240.

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.