Former Shelby County Business Owners Plead Guilty to Sales Tax Evasion

Thursday, May 19, 2016 | 8:59am

MEMPHIS - The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Wednesday’s guilty pleas from Mohammed Amani and Khalid Moutiq.

Amani, 48, and Moutiq, 47, were co-owners of Tropicana Market.  Each pleaded guilty Wednesday in Shelby County Criminal Court to one class C felony count of theft over $10,000 and one class E felony count of sales tax evasion.  Judge Lee Coffee accepted Amani and Moutiq’s pleas and ordered them each to pay $11,554 in restitution. Amani was sentenced to three years of probation. Moutiq was also sentenced to three years of probation, but he was granted judicial diversion. 

Tennessee’s tax structure depends on taxpayers voluntarily complying with the laws,” Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts said. “Taxpayers who collect but intentionally do not remit sales tax breach the public’s trust and violate the criminal laws of the state. This case underscores our commitment to rigorous and fair administration of Tennessee’s tax law.”

The Department pursued the criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney General Amy Weirich and her staff. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee's revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2015 fiscal year, it collected $12.6 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.4 billion in taxes and fees for local governments.  To learn more about the Department, visit www.tn.gov/revenue.

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Revenue