Charlotte Businessman Pleads Guilty to State Tax Charges

Date: 2/24/2005

RALEIGH – A Charlotte businessman pleaded guilty today in Wake County District Court to felony tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Stephen Lee Tate, 32, of 1200 The Plaza-Suite A, Charlotte, pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, 2005 to two counts of sales tax evasion.

Wake County District Court Judge Shelley Desvousges sentenced Tate to a four- month minimum, five-month maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended and Tate was placed on supervised probation for 12 months. He was also ordered to perform 48 hours of community service and pay a $500 criminal fine. Tate paid $21,743.38 in restitution to the Department of Revenue at sentencing.

The state’s evidence showed that Tate was the responsible officer for The Collection in Charlotte, a retail bridal store. Tate charged and collected North Carolina and Mecklenburg County sales tax from February 2003 through July 2004 and didn’t report or pay it to the Department of Revenue. The tax money was used to pay other expenses for the business.

The charges against Tate resulted from an investigation by an auditor in the Charlotte Field Examinations Office and a special agent with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.

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