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June 23, 2006

Restaurant Owner Arrested in Unpaid Taxes Case

The owner of a Middleburg restaurant has been arrested on charges that he failed to file six consecutive sales tax returns with the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced. 

William Filancia, 41, of Middleburg, was arrested by the Clay County Sheriff’s Department on June 21 on felony charges relating to failure to file tax returns as required by law.  If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.  Filancia operated the Brick Oven Italian Restaurant in Orange Park and N.Y. Brick Oven Pizzeria in Middleburg, doing business as same at 174 Blanding Boulevard, Orange Park and 2225B County Road 220, Middleburg, respectivelyThe Brick Oven Italian Restaurant in Orange Park is closed.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Filancia routinely collected tax from customers at his business.  However, during various periods between March 2002 and December 2004, Filancia failed to file tax returns as required by law.  Department of Revenue staff repeatedly visited and called Filancia in an attempt to help him come into compliance with state tax law, but he failed to meet his legal obligations.

“To be fair, tax law must apply uniformly to all businesses,” said Jim Zingale, executive director of the Revenue Department. “Tax cheats steal money that the public pays to support vital public services, such as law enforcement and education.  They also steal a competitive advantage over honest businesspeople who pay their taxes.  The Department of Revenue cannot and will not allow this to occur. ”

If you have information about tax theft, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in the Jackson Regional Service Center at 904-359-6667.