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August 29, 2011

Owner of Tallahassee Restaurant Arrested

Jeffery S. Merimee, 50, owner of Famous Dave's Restaurant in Tallahassee, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $166,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Merimee, who lives in Owensboro, Kentucky, was arrested by the Leon County Sheriff's Department on August 28, 2011 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines, as well as repayment of stolen taxes, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Bond was set at $100,000.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Merimee collected tax from customers at his Capital Circle restaurant. However, during various periods beginning in 2010 and lasting through periods in 2011, he failed to send into the state all the sales tax he collected. The restaurant is located at 1926 Capital Circle North East.

"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.