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March 3, 2014

Former Escambia County Business Owner Arrested

Hugh B. Carter, the former owner of Carbon Copies, Inc., a business that had specialized in the retail sales of printed material located in Pensacola, Florida, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $18,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Carter, 49, Pensacola, was arrested by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office on February 27, 2014 on felony charges relating to theft of state funds and refusal to file returns and pay taxes due. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen sales tax, along with payment of interest and investigative costs. Carbon Copies, now closed, was located at 6290 West Nine Mile Road in Pensacola.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Carter collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods beginning in 2009, lasting through periods in 2012, he failed to send to the state all of the sales taxes that were collected and failed to file tax returns as require by law.

"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 Pensacola at 850-595-5188.

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.