Nicki P. Wood contributed to this story.
Michael G. Tangredi, the 18-year-old chief financial officer of Nashville-based M. Tangredi Restaurants, was indicted by the Davidson County grand jury on charges that he tried to defraud the state, using a forged check to prove he had already paid past-due sales taxes to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
The jury found there was sufficient evidence to charge Tangredi with two felonies. If convicted on the two counts, Tangredi faces a maximum of four years in the state penitentiary and a $5,000 fine.
Tangredi was charged with sales tax evasion and with forgery over $1,000 with intent to defraud. The charges stemmed from an incident involving a notice for past-due taxes. A TDR investigation accuses Tangredi of presenting an altered copy of a $3,125 check, in an attempt to convince the department he had already paid the August 2006 tax return.
A Davidson County Grand Jury handed down the indictment Friday. Sophie Moery, spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Revenue, said the indictment was "not related to other Tangredi issues" that have surfaced in the media, including a lawsuit filed by American Express to recoup $1.14 million in alleged fraudulent charges; a Department of Labor suit alleging failure to produce wage and payroll records; and a U.S. bankruptcy court-ordered sale of assets.
The department's press release follows after the jump.
The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that resulted in Friday's indictment of Michael G. Tangredi, age 18, chief financial officer for M. Tangredi Restaurants. A Davidson County Grand Jury indicted Tangredi on charges of trying to defraud the state of Tennessee by presenting a forged check to the Department of Revenue, claiming he had already paid sales tax due when he had not.
Tangredi was charged with one Class D felony count of Presenting a Forged Writing of Value over $1,000 with the intent to defraud in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 39-14-114 and one Class E felony count of Sales Tax Evasion in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g) by providing a forged check in the amount of $3,125 representing payment for an August 2006 sales tax return. If convicted, Tangredi could be sentenced to a maximum of four years in the state penitentiary and fined $5,000 for the Class D felony. The Class E felony carries a maximum sentence of two years and a fine of $3,000.
"The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity," said Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr. "This investigation underscores our department's ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee's tax laws."
This case is being pursued criminally by the department in cooperation with the Davidson County District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson's office. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee's revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).