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August 27, 2012

Tampa Jewelry Store Manager Arrested in Tax Theft Case

Joseph E. DiPaula, Jr., the former manager of New Horizon Gold & Bead, LLC, located in Tampa, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $15,000 in sales tax he collected from customers at his store, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. DiPaula, 43, who lives in Apollo Beach, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on August 23, 2012, on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. 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. DiPaula's jewelry store was located at 7032 West Waters Avenue in Tampa.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. DiPaula collected tax from customers at his jewelry store. However, during various periods beginning in 2009 and lasting through periods in 2011, he failed to file tax returns as required by Florida law.

“It is an honor to serve the vast majority of Florida businesses who comply with State tax requirements,” said Marshall Stranburg, Interim 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 Tampa at 813-744-6506.

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.