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November 1, 2010

Milton Couple Arrested in Theft of State Funds Case

Robert Todd Bacon, 45, and his wife, Erin Deidre Bacon, 32, owners of Pensacola Auto Brokers Economy Lot, Inc. that did business as Rob Bacon’s Ticket to Drive, a used car dealership located in Pensacola, have been arrested. The couple was arrested on charges that they stole more than $100,000 in state funds they collected in sales tax from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

The couple, who live in Milton, surrendered to to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department on October 29, 2010 and October 27, 2010 on felony charges relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, each faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, and investigative costs. The dealership was located at 5831 Pensacola Blvd, in Pensacola.

According to Revenue Department investigators, the couple collected tax from customers at their business. However, during various periods beginning in 2008 and lasting through periods in 2009, they failed to send into the state all of the sales taxes that they had collected. Under state law, sales tax is the property of the state at the moment of collection.

"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 Vickers, Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue. "Individuals who collect tax but don't send it in are stealing taxpayer dollars and gaining an unfair financial advantage over honest businesses. 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 Pensacola at 850-595-5188.

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.