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July 26, 2012

Former Clearwater Store Owner Arrested

Ramon A. Ventura, the former owner of Mi Mexico Market, located in Clearwater, has been arrested, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Ventura, 47, who lives in Land O'Lakes, was arrested by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department on July 19, 2012 on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to theft of state funds, failure to file six consecutive 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 possible payment of penalty and investigative costs. Now under new ownership, the Mi Mexico Market is located at 25010 US Highway 19 North in Clearwater.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Ventura collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods beginning in 2010, lasting through periods in 2012, he failed to send into the state all of the sales taxes that he had 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 Clearwater at 727-507-6305.

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.