Loudon County Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Theft and Sales Tax Evasion Charges

Friday, May 20, 2016 | 9:38am

KNOXVILLE -- The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Thursday’s guilty plea of Robert Wayne Berry, Jr.

Berry, 51, manager of Eurohaus Motorsports, LLC, pleaded guilty to one class C count of theft over $10,000 and two class E felony counts of sales tax evasion in a Knox County Criminal Court. Judge Steven Sword accepted Berry’s guilty plea, ordered him to pay $23,823.19 in restitution and placed Berry on four years of probation.

A Knox County Grand Jury previously indicted Berry in November 2015 on one count of theft over $10,000 and 23 counts of tax evasion.

“This investigation serves as a reminder that retailers are not entitled to use or keep sales tax monies,” Revenue Commissioner Richard Roberts said. “Sales tax revenues collected by retailers are never property of the retailer.  At all times these sales tax collections are property of our state and local governments and must be remitted to the state as required by law.  Consumers who pay the tax deserve to know that the money will be used by the state and local governments for the common good."

The Department pursued the criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney General Charme Allen 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.