WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 28, 2011)—Nov. 3 is the arraignment date for a former Florida tire dealer accused of failing to pay the state nearly $58,000 in sales taxes.
Aubrey T. Felton, 42, owned a chain of Tuffy Tire & Auto franchises in Palm Beach County between 2006 and 2008, under the name Felton Tire & Auto Inc.
In a case filed Sept. 8 in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, the Florida Department of Revenue accused Felton of failure to remit $57,915 in state sales taxes between August 2007 and February 2008, out of a total of $86,310 he owed the state.
Felton surrendered himself at Palm Beach County Jail Sept. 18, the agency said. He is now free on bond pending arraignment.
If Felton is convicted, the agency said, he faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of taxes, interest, penalties and investigative costs.
“It is our job to enforce the law and ensure honest businesses are not placed at a competitive disadvantage by those who ignore the law or worse,” said Lisa Vickers, executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue, in a press release.
Douglas J. Rudman, Felton's attorney, said the time frame cited in the case was a period of transition during which Felton was selling the tire stores to a new owner.
“We have to look into which party was responsible for payment of taxes during that time,” Rudman said. “This is a case that could have, and should have, been addressed in a civil action. Mr. Felton will aggressively defend himself against these charges.”
Before going into business for himself, Felton served as senior vice president of TBC Corp.'s Tire Kingdom retail chain. In July 2006, he said he had opened three Tuffy stores since April 2006.