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September 21, 2009

Plant City Bar Owner Arrested

The Florida Department of Revenue announced that Joseph Hailey, Jr. the owner of Big Dog's Patio was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department on September 18, 2009. Mr. Hailey turned himself in on felony charges relating to 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 payment of tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Mr. Hailey owned and operated Big Dog’s Patio, 103 North Palmer Street in Plant City.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Hailey routinely collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods between June 2008 and November 2008, he failed to file the required tax returns.

"Most Florida businesses do an excellent job of meeting the state’s requirements for collecting and submitting sales tax, which pays for services Floridians need," said Lisa Echeverri, Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue. "Individuals who consistently fail to submit tax returns gain an unfair financial advantage over honest businesses who follow the law. It’s our job to ensure that Florida’s tax laws are administered fairly."

If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in Tampa at 813-744-6506.