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August 22, 2011

Plantation Used Car Dealer Arrested in Atlanta International Airport

Yul Armani, owner of a closed Plantation used car dealership, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $485,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Mr. Armani, 59, who currently resides out of the country, was arrested on August 20, 2011 while traveling through the Atlanta International Airport on felony charges relating to theft of state funds. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest, penalty and investigative costs. Mr. Armani owned and operated Armani & Sons, Inc. and Armani Motors, Inc., doing business as Payless Auto Sales, 480 North State Road 7 in Plantation.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Armani collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods beginning in 2006 and lasting through periods in 2009, he failed to send into the state all of the sales taxes that he had collected and filed false or fraudulent returns. 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 Lisa Vickers, 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 worse—intentionally collect and steal taxpayer dollars."

If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue investigations office in Coral Springs at 954-346-2850.

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.