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July 2, 2012

Pensacola Restaurant Owner Arrested in Theft Case

David A. Matteson, the former owner of the Steak-Out of Pensacola, located in Pensacola prior to its closing, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $32,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Matteson, 48, who lives in Milton, was arrested by the Escambia County Sheriff's Department on June 29, 2012 on a felony and misdemeanor charges relating to theft of state funds and failure to file returns and pay taxes due. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, and investigative costs. Mr. Matteson’s restaurant was located at 6404 North 9th Street in Pensacola.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Matteson collected tax from customers at his restaurant. However, during various periods beginning in 2010 and lasting through periods in 2011, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected or file his 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 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.