June 28, 2012
George R. Karageorge, the owner of D&G Nature Coast Carpet and Flooring, located in Steinhatchee, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $12,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.
Mr. Karageorge, 60, who also lives in Steinhatchee, was arrested by the Taylor County Sheriff's Department on June 22, 2012 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds and failure to file six consecutive tax returns. If convicted, he faces 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. Mr. Karageorge’s business is located at 1502 1st Avenue South East in Steinhatchee.
According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Karageorge collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods beginning in 2007 and lasting through periods in 2011, he failed to send into the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected and he failed to file tax returns as required by law. 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 Lisa Vickers, 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 worse—intentionally collect and steal taxpayer dollars."
If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in Tallahassee at 850-922-2671.
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.