Former Knox County Business People Plead Guilty to Theft and Tax Fraud

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Thursday, July 02, 2020 | 03:19pm

Knoxville, Tenn. – The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to Ralph Gary Kerr and Delores Anderson Smith, both formerly of Grady Kerr Motors, pleading guilty to theft and tax fraud Wednesday.

Judge Kyle Hixson accepted Kerr’s guilty plea to one count of theft over $10,000, and one count of sales tax fraud. He sentenced Kerr to four years’ probation and granted judicial diversion.  Judge Hixson also accepted Delores Smith’s guilty plea to one count of sales tax fraud and sentenced her to one-year probation. She also was granted judicial diversion.  The pair was ordered to pay $91,882.01in restitution to the Department of Revenue.

“Investigations, such as this one, should warn retailers that fraudulently not remitting all sales tax monies collected is a crime, “Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “The taxes collected from customers are all times property of the state and local governments. Customers have a right to know that the tax they pay is going to be remitted to be used for the public good of all Tennesseans.”

The department is pursuing this criminal case in cooperation with District Attorney Charme Allen’s office. 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, as well as the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2019 fiscal year, it collected $15.3 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $3 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the Department, visit www.tn.gov/revenue.

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