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September 28, 2009

Tallahassee Restaurant Owner Arrested

The owner of the Mediterranean Grill restaurant located on Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee has been arrested, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Sharl Helmy Sultan, 49, of Tallahassee, was arrested by the Leon County Sheriff’s Department on September 25 on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to his failure to file six consecutive tax returns and his refusal to pay taxes due. 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. The business is located at 1500 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 1026, Tallahassee, Florida and it is closed.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Sultan routinely collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods in 2007, he failed to file the required tax returns and refused to pay the taxes he collected.

"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 that 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 Tallahassee at 850-922-2671.