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March 21, 2012

Alachua Restaurant Owner Arrested

Keith Cason, the former owner of the Gallop-In-Gary's of Alachua, LLC, located in Alachua prior to its closing, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $9,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Cason, 45, who lives in Fort White, was arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff's Department on March 19, 2012 on a felony and misdemeanor charges relating to theft of state funds, failure to file six consecutive returns 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 tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Mr. Cason's restaurant was located at 15634 North West US Highway 441 in Alachua.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Clark collected tax from customers at his restaurant. However, during various periods in 2010, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected or file tax returns as required by law. 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 Alachua at 386-418-4444.

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.