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December 15, 2008

Owner of Cabinet Shop Arrested for Failing to File Tax Returns

The owner of an Escambia County cabinet shop has been arrested on charges that he failed to file six consecutive sales tax returns with intent to evade the payment of tax to the Florida Department of Revenue.

Charles D. Pitman 38, of Pensacola, surrendered to Escambia County Sheriff’s Department on December 15, 2008 on a felony charge relating to failure to file six consecutive tax returns and misdemeanor charges of refusal to file returns and pay the taxes due. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines on the felony charge and up to one year in jail for each misdemeanor charges, as well as possible repayment of tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Mr. Pitman operated Slay’s Woodworking, Inc., located at 5914 Nashville Avenue, Pensacola, Florida.

According to Revenue Department investigators, during various periods between March 2006 and December 2006, Mr. Pitman failed to submit all the tax returns due to the state, evading the payment of the sales and use taxes.

"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 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.