Acting on information provided by the Sales Tax Division of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, detectives began an investigation into possibly fraudulent tax practices by the owner of Dor’s Food Mart on Washington Street in Franklinton. A search warrant was obtained for the business as well as for a storage unit which contained business records. The search warrant was served on June 21, at which time business records were seized along with a large quantity of alcohol and tobacco products which were on the premises without proper permits.
The owner of the business, Hussein Ali Faour, 43, a resident of Cleveland Street in Franklinton, was arrested on June 22 and booked into the Washington Parish Jail charged with twenty-three felony counts of Criminal Penalty To Account For Local Tax Monies and twenty-three misdemeanor counts of Criminal Penalty For Evasion of Tax. His bond was set at $15,000. He met the conditions of bond and was released later that day.
Thus far, the Sales Tax Division has uncovered several hundred thousand dollars of collected sales tax that Mr. Faour failed to remit as required by law. The investigation and records review continues to determine if additional tax was withheld and if so, how much. If more is discovered, additional charges will be filed.
Sheriff Randy Seal commented, “Sales tax collected by a business does not belong to that business. It belongs to the citizens of Washington Parish and is distributed to various public agencies in the parish to support many governmental functions, including roads, schools, parish municipalities and law enforcement. Each business owner is required by law to remit all sales tax which is collected. In this case, Mr. Faour was remitting only a portion of the sales tax collected by his business and was using the remainder of the tax money for business purposes. This is a clear violation of the law and that is why we arrested Mr. Faour.”
Sheriff Seal continued, “If any other business owner in Washington Parish is failing to remit all sales tax money which is collected, I encourage them to contact our Sales Tax Division as soon as possible to discuss how the issue can be resolved. Call our office during regular business hours at (985) 839-3434 and ask to speak to the Sales Tax Office. Failure to remit collected sales tax money is a criminal act which carries criminal penalties.”