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September 21, 2012

Used Car Dealer Arrested

Thomas Breese Brown Jr., the owner of Palmetto Automotive Sales and Service LLC, a used car dealership located in Manatee, Florida, has been arrested, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Brown, 42, who lives in Palmetto, was arrested by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office on September 20, 2012 on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to issuing worthless checks and failing to file 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 penalty and investigative costs. Palmetto Automotive Sales and Service LLC is located at 405 8th Avenue West in Palmetto.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Brown collected tax from customers at his dealership. However, during various periods beginning in 2011, lasting through periods in 2012, he issued worthless checks to the Florida Department of Revenue and he failed to file his sales tax returns as required by 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.