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December 18, 2012

Marion County Gift Shop Owner Arrested

Ricardo Morales, the owner of Mystic, Inc., a gift shop located in Ocala, Florida, has been arrested, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Morales, 41, who also lives in Ocala, was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff's Office on December 12, 2012 on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to failure to file six consecutive returns and refusal to file returns and 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 penalty and investigative costs. Mystic, Inc. is located at 3951 South Pine Avenue in Ocala.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Morales collected tax from customers at his gift shop. However, during various periods beginning in 2010, lasting through periods in 2012, he failed to file his tax returns as required by Florida law.

“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 Alachua at 386-418-4415.

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.