Former Panther arrested for tax evasion for his Columbia nightclub

Stephen Davis (Source: WBTV)
Stephen Davis (Source: WBTV)

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTV) - A former Carolina Panthers football player has been arrested in South Carolina after investigators say he avoided paying retail taxes for a nightclub he owned.

According to the South Carolina Department of Revenue, Stephen Davis was arrested on Wednesday and charged with operating a business without a license.

Davis, a former Panther running back, owns a club called PURE Lounge located on Berryhill Road in Columbia.

Davis played with the Carolina Panthers for three seasons, from 2003-2005.

Davis was a huge impact player for the Panthers, leading the team to Super Bowl XXXVIII. He rushed for a career-high 1,444 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He also finished in the top three for the NFL MVP voting that year.

Investigators say his business license was revoked by the SC Department of Revenue in July 2012, but he continued to run the business and conduct sales without a retail license.

Davis, 38, was taken to the Lexington County Detention Center on Wednesday afternoon where he is awaiting a bond hearing.

He could face up to 30 days in prison and/or $200 in fines if convicted of the charges.
Davis was injured early in the 2004 season and remained on the injured reserve list for 2004 and part of the 2005 season.

Davis was released by the Panthers on in March 2006 and went on to play for the St. Louis Rams.

He signed a one-day contract with the Panthers so he could officially retire as a Panther, which he did on February 28, 2008.