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October 16, 2012

Tampa Cafe Owner Arrested

Jose R. Andrade, the owner of the Tropical Café and Bakery, Inc., located in Tampa, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $5,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Andrade, 32, who also lives in Tampa, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on October 2, 2012 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Mr. Andrade's restaurant is located at 2903 North Nebraska Avenue in Tampa.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Andrade collected tax from the customers at his restaurant. However, during various periods beginning in 2010 and lasting through periods in 2011, he failed to send in to 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 Port Richey at 727-841-4272.

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.