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February 14, 2011

Vehicle Repair Shop Owner Arrested

Ronald A. DePalma, owner of Valrico Auto Truck, Inc., has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. DePalma, 62, of Valrico was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department on February 14, 2011 on two charges relating to failing to file six consecutive returns and refusing to file returns and pay taxes due. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines on each charge and investigative costs. The business is located at 3250 Highway 60 East in Valrico.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. DePalma collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods beginning in 2008 and lasting through 2010, he failed to file his sales tax returns or remit sales tax collected as required by state law.

"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 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 Tampa at 813-744-6506.

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.