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Sullivan County man faces charges of tax evasion, forgery

Sullivan County man faces charges of tax evasion, forgery

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BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — A Sullivan County man was arrested Monday on charges of tax evasion, theft and forgery that could land him a stint in the state penitentiary and up to $28,000 in fines.

Royce Franklin Sutphin, 46, was arrested by special agents from the Tennessee Department of Revenue after a Sullivan County grand jury indicted him on five felony counts of use tax evasion, six counts of forgery and one count of theft, according to a Tuesday statement from the department.

The indictments, filed Jan. 27, accuse Sutphin of providing “false and fraudulent information to the Sullivan County Clerk’s office regarding his registration of a boat and truck,” the statement said. The revenue department’s Special Investigations Section investigated the case that led to the indictments.

If Sutphin is convicted, he could face two years in the state penitentiary and up to $3,000 in fines for each count of tax evasion and theft, the statement said. The forgery charge, meanwhile, could cost him up to six years in the state penitentiary and a maximum fine of $10,000.

The statement said that the department is working with Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus to pursue the case.

“The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said in the statement.

The statement also encouraged citizens who suspect violations of the state’s revenue laws to call its toll-free tax fraud hotline at 800-372-8389.

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