Spokane business owner sentenced for first-degree theft

OLYMPIA, WASH. – June 15, 2018 – The owner of two Spokane businesses has been sentenced for first-degree theft and ordered to pay more than $100,000 in sales tax he stole from the state.

Alan Wayne Jennings of Spokane was sentenced May 11 in Spokane County Superior Court. He was ordered to pay back $109,248 in sales tax he collected from his customers but did not remit to the state.

Jennings, the owner of Tek Direct X-Ray and Tech Direct Imaging LLC in Spokane, was charged in May 2017 of first-degree theft, a felony. He was convicted by a jury in April.

Revenue auditors discovered the theft during an audit of Jennings’ businesses for a period between June 2007 and January 2011. Auditors discovered Jennings had collected a total of $109,248 in sales tax from customers of both businesses, but kept that tax for himself.

Revenue turned the case over to the state Attorney General’s office, who prosecuted the case in conjunction with the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office.

Collecting but not remitting sales tax is illegal under Washington state law. Businesses that sell retail goods and personal property in Washington are required to collect sales tax and return it to the state.

Retail sales tax is the largest source of state revenue and funds vital services that benefit Washington’s residents and economy.

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The Department of Revenue is Washington state’s primary tax agency, nationally recognized for innovation and quality customer service. Revenue administers nearly 60 categories of taxes that help fund education, social services, health care, corrections, public safety, natural resource conservation and other important services Washington residents count on.