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September 14, 2012

Subway Sandwich Shop Franchise Owner Arrested

Geoffrey M. White, the former owner of several Subway Sandwich Shops located in Lee and Charlotte Counties, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $180,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, the Florida Department of Revenue announced. White was arrested on similar charges in July 6, 2012 for his Subway locations in Collier County.

Mr. White, 31, who lives in Odessa, was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff's Department on August 24, 2012 on felony charges relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Mr. White's ten subway sandwich shops were located throughout Lee and Charlotte counties.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. White collected tax from customers at his locations. However, during various periods beginning in 2008 and lasting through periods in 2011, he failed to send into the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected. 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 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 Ft. Myers at 239-338-2426.

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.