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January 11, 2018


TX man gets ten years prison time for evading motor fuel tax

The Texas Comptroller’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) recently arrested a Texas man in Florida. The man faced accusations of motor fuel tax fraud, tampering with physical evidence and credit card abuse. The accused was convicted for these crimes and faces a sentence of 10 years of prison time for tax fraud and an additional two years of prison time for credit card fraud and $10,000 in fines.

Texas Comptroller’s Office has stated that it intends for the severity of the penalty to deter future offenses. Comptroller Glenn Hegar stated that he hopes the case “serves as a lesson to would-be criminals who think breaking tax laws will only amount to a slap on the wrist.” 

Why is the Comptroller involved in these violations? The Comptroller has the legal authority to conduct inspections to enforce the state’s tax laws. These inspections do not require a warrant, but the Comptroller is limited in the time, place and scope of the search. For example, the Comptroller can generally inspect the books and equipment of a business during business hours.

How serious are allegations of motor fuel tax evasion? The Comptroller’s website notes that the motor fuel tax is the fourth largest source of state tax revenue. The state clearly has a financial interest in ensuring tax laws, like the motor fuel tax, are enforced.

The CID provides some clarification as to the severity of a motor fuel tax violation, noting that charges can range in severity from misdemeanors to felonies. A conviction for a felony can come with up to 20 years of prison time.

Due to the severity of penalties that can accompany these charges it is wise to take the allegations seriously. Legal counsel can craft a defense to allegations of tax fraud and better ensure your interests and legal rights are protected.