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Cape man accused of failing to remit sales tax

By Staff | Aug 9, 2012

A Cape Coral man is accused of not turning over to the state thousands of dollars in sales tax that he collected from customers at his business.

Munaf Muhammed Rashid, 47, of Southeast 20th Place, was arrested and charged July 31 with larceny sales tax fail remit $20,000 under $100,000, according to booking records. He has since been released on $5,000 bond.

Rashid could not be reached for comment Thursday on the allegations.

According to the Florida Department of Revenue, Rashid stole more than $8,000 in collected sales tax by failing to send it in to the state. He owns the Snack Shack Food Mart at 8671 Littleton Road, North Fort Myers.

During various periods last year, Rashid allegedly failed to send in all of the sales taxes that he had collected from customers at his store. Under Florida law, sales tax is the property of the state at the moment of its collection.

On July 31, a deputy with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office picked up Rashid on an active warrant for theft of sales tax during a traffic stop in the Cape.

He was taken into custody and transported to the Lee County Jail.

“It is an honor to serve the vast majority of Florida businesses who comply with state tax requirements,” Marshall Stranburg, interim executive director for the Department of Revenue, reported in a prepared statement released.

“For those that don’t, 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 intentionally collect and steal taxpayer dollars,” he continued.

If convicted, Rashid faces up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, as well as possible repayment of stolen tax, interest and penalty.

He has a court appearance scheduled for Sept. 4.