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Kingsport businessman accused of tax evasion

Staff report • Jul 31, 2018 at 12:24 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — A former managing member of a now-defunct Kingsport restaurant has been arrested for allegedly skimping on nearly $200,000 in state taxes.

According to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Revenue, Robert Joseph Ranuro was indicted July 11 by a Sullivan County grand jury. He faces 32 counts of sales tax evasion and 24 counts of liquor by the drink tax evasion. On Tuesday, he turned himself in at the Sullivan County jail, and his bond was set at $7,500.

The charges stem from Ranuro’s management of Biggies on West Stone Drive. The restaurant opened in October of 2011 and closed five years later.

“The Department of Revenue promotes voluntary taxpayer compliance by educating taxpayers, aggressively pursuing criminal sanctions and demanding accountability when taxpayers engage in fraudulent activity,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said. “This indictment underscores the Department’s ongoing efforts to enforce Tennessee’s tax laws.”

Taxes Ranuro owes Tennessee reportedly total $191,490.33. If convicted, Ranuro could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary and fined up to $3,000 for each of the 56 counts against him.

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