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January 30, 2014

Former Fort Myers Restaurant Owner Arrested

Kevin Ray Douglas, 47, owner of Lee Restaurant Enterprises, Inc., formerly doing business as The Keys Bar & Grille, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $9,400 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Douglas, who lives in Fort Myers, was arrested by the Lee County Sheriff's Department on January 29, 2014 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Douglas collected sales tax from the customers of his business. However, during the period from August through October 2012, he failed to send 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. The Keys Bar & Grille is located at 9905 Gulf Coast Main Street in Fort Myers.

“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 Fort Myers at 239-338-2437.

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.