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March 20, 2013

Former Okaloosa County Used Car Dealers Arrested

Christopher S. Shelton, 48, and Delores M. Shelton, 33, the former owners of Star Auto Sales of FWB, Inc., a used car dealership that had been located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, have been arrested on charges that they stole more than $14,000 in sales tax they collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

The couple now lives in Newnan, GA, where they were arrested by Georgia authorities and subsequently transported to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office where Christopher Shelton was arrested February 22, 2013, and Delores Shelton was arrested March 8, 2013. Both were charged with felony theft of state funds. If convicted, each faces up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines, as well as, repayment of stolen taxes, interest, and investigative costs. Star Auto Sales was located at 785 North Beal Parkway in Fort Walton Beach.

According to Revenue Department investigators, the couple collected tax from customers at their dealership. However, during various periods beginning in 2009, lasting through periods in 2010, they failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that they collected as required by state law.

“It is an honor to serve the vast majority of Florida businesses who comply with State tax requirements,” said Marshall Stranburg, Interim 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.