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February 10, 2009

Monroe County Transient Rental Owner Arrested for Failing to File Tax Returns and Pay Taxes

The owner of a Monroe County business that specialized in transient rentals of vacation properties has been arrested on charges that she failed to pay sales taxes that she collected from customers, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Marcia Trinette Turner-Workman, 45, of Long Key and Twin Falls, ID, was arrested by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department on February 5, 2009 on felony charges relating to failure to pay tax collected from her customers. If convicted, she faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Ms. Turner-Workman operates her business as a sole proprietorship under the name Marcia Turner, located at 65890 Overseas Highway, Long Key, Florida.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Ms. Turner-Workman routinely collected tax from customers at her business. However, during various periods in 2007 and 2008, she failed to send in to 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.

"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 consistently fail to submit tax returns gain an unfair financial advantage over honest businesses that follow the law. 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
Key West at 305-293-1589 or in Miami at 305-513-3290.