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Pizza shop owner ordered to pay restitution for tax fraud

Pizza shop owner ordered to pay restitution for tax fraud

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News Release(Salt Lake City - Dec. 9, 2008) A Layton pizza shop owner was ordered to serve 90 days in jail and will likely have to pay more than a quarter of a million dollars for tax fraud. Michael R. Park, 51, was sentenced Dec. 8 for two third-degree felony counts.

"This was an egregious case because the defendant pocketed money while he was pretending to collect taxes from customers," says Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. "By stealing state taxes he essentially stole money from each and every decent, lawful and conscientious Utah citizen who works hard and fulfills their obligations."

Park was the owner of A and P, LLC and ran four different fast-food pizza operations. He was convicted in October for failing to give the state the taxes he collected and failing to file proper tax returns between 2001 and 2006. The Attorney General's Office handled the prosecution and the Utah State Tax Commission conducted the investigation into Park.

"Our criminal investigations officers will continue to vigorously investigate those who refuse to pay their fair share of state taxes," says Pam Hendrickson, chair of the State Tax Commission. "Failing to remit sales taxes is a particular serious offense since they are in essence stealing money from their customers."

Third District Judge Randall Skanchy ordered Park to serve 90 days in jail and 36 months on probation. He was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community of service. The state of Utah alleges that Park owes $260,992 in taxes, penalties and interest.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for February 2009.

(Courtesy: Paul Murphy from the Utah Attorney General's Office)

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