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December 18, 2012

Former Wakulla County Repair Shop Owner Arrested

David L. Spears, the former owner of Spears Engine and Tire, Inc., a small engine repair shop located in Crawfordville, Florida, has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $18,000 in sales tax he collected from customers, but failed to send in to the state, the Florida Department of Revenue announced today.

Mr. Spears, 35, who also lives in Crawfordville, was arrested by the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office December 18, 2012 on felony 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. Spears Engine and Tire was located at 3083 Crawfordville Highway in Crawfordville.

According to Revenue Department investigators, Mr. Spears collected tax from customers at his repair shop. However, during various periods beginning in 2009, lasting through periods in 2010, he failed to send in to the state all of the sales taxes that were collected and file 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 Tallahassee at 850-922-2671.

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.