RV Dealers Plead Guilty to Sales Tax Theft, Make $186,249 Restitution
SEATTLE, Dec. 2, 2010 – An Auburn couple pleaded guilty today to stealing sales tax they collected before their Kent recreational vehicle dealership business closed in 2009.
King County Superior Court Judge Michael Hayden gave Daniel G. Watts, 54, and Donna Watts, 52, owners of Watts Enterprises, Inc., a 12-month suspended sentence provided they make full restitution and commit no other crimes in the next two years. They already have paid the state the full $186,249 sought, including penalties and interest.
The charges were brought by the Financial Crimes Unit of the state Attorney General’s Office at the request of the Washington State Department of Revenue.
The Department assessed the business after it failed to remit sales tax it collected from customers during two of the last three months it was in business, in March and May 2009.
“Customers pay these taxes to finance state and local services such as police protection, not line someone’s pockets,” said Mike Grundhoffer, the Department’s senior assistant director for operations. “We are on the lookout for such thefts and will prosecute violators accordingly.”
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