Nashville The Tennessee Department of Revenue Special Investigations conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and arrest of Charnitha Britton, owner of Kinfolks BBQ, in Smyrna. Special revenue agents arrested Britton, 66, on Monday. Bond is set at $25,000.
On September 8, a Rutherford County grand jury indicted Britton on one count of felony class B count of more than $60,000 theft, 13 counts of money laundering (also class B) and 36 counts of tax evasion. The indictments allege that Britton underreported taxable sales and failed to remit the additional sales tax collected from its customers.
“Investigations, such as this one, should warn retailers that failing to properly transfer all sales tax money they collect is a crime,” said Revenue Commissioner David Grigano. “Taxes collected from customers are the property of the state and local governments at all times. Customers have a right to know that the tax they pay will be transferred to the state and used for the common good of all Tennessee residents.”
If convicted, Britton could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in state prison and a fine of up to $3,000 per tax evasion charge, and 12 years and a fine of up to $25,000 for money laundering and theft.
The Department is pursuing this criminal case in cooperation with the Office of the Attorney General Jennings Jones. Citizens who suspect violations of Tennessee revenue laws should call the toll-free tax fraud hotline at (800) FRAUDTX (372-8389).
The Department of Revenue is responsible for administering state tax laws, vehicle ownership and registration laws, and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The department collects about 87 percent of the state’s total revenue. During fiscal year 2021, it collected $18.4 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $3.7 billion in taxes and fees for local governments. To learn more about the department, visit www.tn.gov/revenue.