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January 2, 2014

Hudson Hardware Store Owner Arrested

Darren E. Mahaney, 48, owner of Universal Fasteners Company, LLC, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $5,300 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Mahaney, who lives in Spring Hill, was arrested by the Hernando County Sheriff's Department on December 18, 2013 on felony charges relating to theft of state funds and failure to file sales and use tax returns. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines for each offense, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Universal Fasteners Company is located at 16703 US Highway 19 in Hudson.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Mahaney collected sales tax from customers of his business. However, during various periods beginning in August 2010 through December 2012, he failed to account for and send in to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected from his customers. 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, 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 727-938-2551

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.