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October 31, 2011

Punta Gorda Businessman Arrested for Stealing Taxes

Melvin G. McClelland, 52, the owner of Hercules Cleaning Corporation, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $27,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. McClelland, Punta Gorda, was arrested by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office on October 27, 2011 on felony charges relating to theft of state sales tax. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as repayment of stolen taxes, interest, penalty and investigative costs.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. McClelland collected tax from customers at his business. However, during various periods beginning in 2007 and lasting through periods in 2011, he failed to send in to the state all the sales tax he collected. The business is located at 27106 Citrus Avenue in Punta Gorda.

"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 Fort Myers at 239-338-2425.

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.