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September 22, 2010

Cape Coral Man Arrested in Theft of State Funds Case

Kevin P. Touhey, 44, former owner of Cape Coral Cars, a used car dealership that was located in Cape Coral, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $31,000 in state funds he collected in sales tax from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced.

Kevin P. Touhey, who also lives in Cape Coral, was arrested by the Lee County Sheriff's Department on September 21, 2010 on a felony charge relating to theft of state funds. 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, penalty and investigative costs. The dealership was located at 1424 Viscaya Parkway in Cape Coral.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Kevin P. Touhey 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. Under state law, sales tax is the property of the state at the moment of collection.

"Most Florida businesses do an excellent job of meeting the state's requirements for collecting and submitting sales tax, which pays for services Floridians need," said Lisa Echeverri, Executive Director, Florida Department of Revenue. "Individuals who collect tax but don't send it in are stealing taxpayer dollars and gaining an unfair financial advantage over honest businesses. It's our job to ensure that Florida's tax laws are administered fairly."

If you have information about tax crimes, please call the Florida Department of Revenue Investigations office in Ft. Myers at 239-338-2425.