Auto Body Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Forging Reseller Permit

LYNNWOOD—Nov. 8, 2010 – The owner of J & R Auto Body in Lynnwood has pleaded guilty to altering another business’s reseller permit so he could buy parts without paying sales tax.

A Snohomish County District Court judge sentenced José R. Guevara, 30, to three months in jail with credit for time served. He had been charged with a gross misdemeanor by the Financial Crimes Unit of the state Attorney General’s Office at the request of the Washington State Department of Revenue.

This is the first prosecution of a business owner since reseller permits were introduced in January. The new permits were created to curb abuse that had been costing state and local governments an estimated $100 million a year in lost sales tax.

The reseller permit system makes it more difficult for businesses to buy items tax-free for their own use rather than reselling them and collecting sales tax as intended. Under the new system authorized by the Legislature, the Department issues permits only to qualifying businesses, and more tightly monitors their use.

Businesses that sell to resellers can verify that a company’s permit is legitimate at http://www.dor.wa.gov/content/doingbusiness/registermybusiness/brd/ .

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