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April 9, 2013

Seminole County Used Car Dealer Arrested

William E. Burden, the owner of Palm Trading Group, LLC, a used car dealership located in Longwood, Florida, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $49,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Burden, 44, who also lives in Longwood, was arrested by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office on April 8 on felony charges relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as, possible repayment of stolen sales tax, along with payment of penalty and investigative costs. Palm Trading Group is located at 377 East State Road 434 in Longwood.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Essa collected tax from customers at his dealership. However, during various periods beginning in 2009, lasting through periods in 2010, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that were collected or file his tax returns as required by 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 Maitland at 407-328-6240.

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.