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SCDOR: Vision Center owner arrested for failure to pay tax

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Handcuffs on wooden table generic(Gray News)
Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 1:02 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Department of Revenue agents say they arrested an owner of a South Carolina chain of vision center stores.

Stephen Lamonte Franklin, 52, was arrested Monday and charged with four counts of failing to collect, account for, or pay over Withholding Tax, and one count of operating without a retail license, SCDOR says.

Agents say Franklin was responsible for collecting, reporting, and paying Withholding Tax taken from employees' pay for his business, H Rubin Vision Center.

According to the arrest warrants, Franklin issued W-2s to employees reflecting tax was withheld from their pay, but he failed to voluntarily pay the taxes to the SCDOR.

Agents say for tax years 2015 – 2018, Franklin failed to pay a total of $131,745 in Withholding Tax due to the state.

SCDOR says Franklin was charged with one count of operating without a retail license because the license for H Rubin Vision Center was revoked in 2016 for unpaid business taxes.

While Franklin was advised to close the business and cease making retail sales, SCDOR says he received multiple violations for continuing to operate as he continued to make retail sales until July 2018.

If convicted of the charges for failing to collect, account for, or pay over Withholding Tax, SCDOR says Franklin faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for each count.

If convicted of the count of operating without a license, the department says he also faces a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $200.

Franklin is being held in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center pending a bond hearing.

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