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November 7, 2011

Pompano Beach Auto Dealer Arrested for Sales Tax Theft

Brenda Rivernider, the owner of Carriages Unlimited, Inc, a Pompano Beach used car dealership, has been arrested on charges that she stole sales tax she collected from customers, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Ms. Rivernider, 58, who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, was arrested by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department on October 31, 2011 on felony charges relating to the theft of state funds. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Carriages Unlimited, Inc. is located at 625 North East 34th Street in Pompano Beach.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Ms. Rivernider collected tax from customers at her dealership. However, during various periods starting in 2009 and lasting through periods in 2011, she failed to send into the state all of the sales taxes that she 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 Lisa Vickers, 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 worse, intentionally collect and steal taxpayer dollars."

If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in Coral Springs at 954-346-2905.

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.