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July 25, 2012

Dade City Auto Parts Dealer Arrested

Israel Cruz, 29, the owner of Cruz Wheel and Accessories, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $7,500 in sales tax he collected from customers, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Cruz, who also lives in Dade City, was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office on July 24, 2012 on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to theft of state funds, failure to file six consecutive tax returns and refusal to file and pay taxes due. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as repayment of stolen taxes, interest, penalty and investigative costs.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Cruz collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods beginning in 2010 and lasting through periods in 2011, he failed to send in to the state all the sales tax he collected, nor did he file sales tax returns as required by law. The business location is 15617 US Highway 301 in Dade City.

“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 Port Richey at 727-841-4272.

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.