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March 2, 2012

Restaurant Owner Arrested for Theft of $210,000 in State Taxes

The owner of a Pasco county restaurant has been arrested on charges that he stole sales taxes that he collected from customers, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Warren W. Dunphy, 61, of New Port Richey, was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff's Department on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Mr. Dunphy owns and operates Alli-Gators of Trinity, LLC, located at 3523 Little Road, New Port Richey.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Dunphy routinely collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods in 2007 through 2008, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected. Investigators found that Mr. Dunphy had illegally kept over $210,000. 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 Lisa Vickers, 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 worse — 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 727-841-4272.

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.