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July 17, 2013

Tallahassee Shoe Store Owner Arrested

Sameer Okashah, 48, owner of Shoe Central, Inc., has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $8,400 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Okashah, who lives in Tallahassee, was arrested by the Leon County Sheriff's Department on July 17, 2013 on felony and misdemeanor 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, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Okashah collected sales tax from customers at his store. However, during various periods in 2011, 2012 and 2013, he failed to send 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. Shoe Central, is located at 2415 N. Monroe Street in Tallahassee.

“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 inTallahassee at 850-487-0461.

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.