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February 11, 2011

Local Business Owner Arrested

Ashley B. More, owner of Jam’s Company, LLC, doing business as Edible Arrangement of North Fort Myers, has been arrested on charges that she stole more than $28,000 in sales tax state she collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Ms. More, 40, of Cape Coral was arrested by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department on February 10, 2011 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. The business is located at 15201 North Cleveland Avenue, Suite 607, North Fort Myers.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Ms. More collected tax from customers at her business. However, during various periods beginning in 2007 and lasting through periods in 2010, 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 Vickers, 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 Fort Myers at 239-338-2425 .

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.