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June 12, 2013

Former Lee County Florist Arrested

Walter E. Slodyczka, the former owner of Bayshore Florist, that had been located in Fort Myers, Florida, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $7,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Slodyczka, 61, who also lives in Fort Myers, was arrested by the Lee County Sheriff's Office June 10, 2013 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible payment of tax, penalty, interest and investigative costs. Bayshore Florist was located at 5470 Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Slodyczka collected tax from customers at his florist shop. However, during various periods beginning in 2010, lasting through periods in 2011, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that were collected.

“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 Fort Myers at 239-338-2442.

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.