Middle Tennessee businessman pleads guilty to theft, tax evasion

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The former managing partner of a pizza chain, Music City Pieworks — also known as Pie Five Pizza — pleaded guilty to theft and tax evasion Thursday following an investigation by the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

News 2 reported back in June 2023 that Richard Allen Davis was charged with theft of more than $250,000; money laundering; and six counts of tax evasion related to the filing of false sales tax returns. If convicted, officials said Davis could be sentenced to a maximum of 60 years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $50,000 for the theft charge, as well as face additional sentencing and fines in connection with the money laundering and tax evasion charges.

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Eight months later, the department announced Judge Cheryl Blackburn accepted Davis’ guilty plea to theft and tax evasion stemming from his failure to remit sales tax collected from customers, but did not offer more specifics on the charges.

According to officials, Blackburn sentenced Davis to 10 years of probation and ordered him to pay $474,785.11 in restitution.

“It is a felony for retailers to collect sales tax from the public and then fail to remit it to the state,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said in a statement released on Thursday, Feb. 22. “It is a breach of the public trust, and the Department of Revenue will never quit pursuing criminal sanctions to provide accountability for these actions.”

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The department said its Special Investigations Section pursued this case in cooperation with District Attorney General Glenn Funk’s Office.

If you suspect a person or business has violated Tennessee’s revenue laws, you are encouraged to call the toll-free tax fraud hot line at 800-372-8389.

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