From the News-Sentinel:
State authorities today arrested a Knox County business owner on sales tax evasion charges, officials said.
The Special Investigations Section of the Tennessee Department of Revenue conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and arrest of Brahim Mazouzi, 43, of Knoxville, according to a news release from the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
Officials said Mazouzi was arrested by Special Agents of the Tennessee Department of Revenue at his business, Magnolia Mini Market, 2400 E. Magnolia Ave. Bond was set at $1,000.
On Jan. 29, 2013, the Knox County grand jury indicted Mazouzi on 19 Class E felony counts of sales tax evasion in violation of Tennessee Code Ann. Section 67-1-1440(g), the release stated. The indictment charges that Mazouzi willfully attempted to evade $25,521.59 in sales tax due the State of Tennessee between January 2009 through July 2010.
Revenue Commissioner Richard H. Roberts said the state’s tax structure depends on taxpayers voluntarily complying with laws. Taxpayers who collect, but intentionally do not remit sales tax, breach the public’s trust and violate the criminal laws of the state, he said.
Officials said that if convicted Mazouzi could be sentenced up to two years in the state penitentiary and fined $3,000 for each of the tax evasion counts.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit claiming the Maury County Sheriff’s Department exceeded its authority and violated a Columbia man’s rights after he was arrested for a traffic violation in January 2011, then transported to the custody of immigration officials in Nashville, according to the Columbia Daily Herald. Chief U.S. District Judge William J. Haynes Jr. entered an order of summary judgment Friday on behalf of Maury County, dismissing the lawsuit brought in January 2012 by Victor Manuel Ramirez-Mendoza. Haynes’ order was accompanied by a 14-page memorandum exploring the constitutional issues raised by Ramirez-Mendoza and explaining why the case would not go to trial.
The lawsuit originally also claimed that General Sessions Judge Bobby Sands had violated Ramirez-Mendoza’s constitutional rights by commenting in court on his ethnic origins. It alleged that during a public hearing, Sands said “it’ll be better to send him to Mexico, because he’s costing us a lot of money here.”
But Sands was dropped from the lawsuit last July after court audio and transcripts showed he had made no such comment. “The court records show that the court was more than fair and considerate, and I was stunned by the lawsuit,” Sands said at the time. “In my opinion, it was highly professionally irresponsible.
Report from Hank Hayes in the Kingsport Times-News:
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today arrested a Greeneville man for stealing money raised by his political action group in charge of organizing a GOP Presidential forum scheduled for October 2011 at the MeadowView Marriott in Kingsport.
The event was never held.
Fabian Farrell Story, 36, was indicted by the Washington County grand jury in November of 2012 on one count of theft over $10,000. Story was the executive director of the group called Conservatives on the Move, allegedly coordinating the political event.
The TBI says Story contacted Johnson City political activist, Phyllis White, on July 1, 2011, to help him raise money and organize the event. White raised approximately $30,000 and deposited it in a Washington County bank. The TBI investigation revealed that Story withdrew the money and it was not refunded to the donors.
Story was arrested by the TBI at the Rutherford County court house where he was appearing on a child support case. He was booked into the Rutherford County Jail on $10,000 bond and will be transported to the Washington County Jail tomorrow.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Heidi Arlene White, a criminal investigator, was fired Tuesday after Madison County deputies arrested her on a charge of public intoxication early Sunday morning, reports the Jackson Sun. A passerby called the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, reporting a car off the road on U.S. 45 East near Medina in Madison County, and the passerby got the impression the car’s occupants were under the influence, said Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork.
The Sheriff’s Office responded to the call about 12:30 a.m.
White fell as she got out of the car, Woolfork said.
White was taken to Madison County Jail and later released on a $200 bond.
Kristin Helm, the TBI public information officer in Nashville, said White was a probationary employee who started with the TBI in January 2011 and she was fired after an internal investigation of the incident. The probationary period for new employees is two years.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge say three people were arrested early Saturday for trespassing and defacing a building in a high security area of the site.
A press release from the facility said the incident occurred about 4:30 a.m. and an investigation into how they got into the facility is being led by the Department of Energy Inspector General.
The individuals, whose names were not released by Y-12 officials, were to be transported to another facility to be processed with federal trespassing charges.
Y-12 maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and provides nuclear fuel for the Navy and for research reactors worldwide. The statement from the facility said the incident appeared to be a protest-related action.
Steven Wyatt, a spokesman for the facility, said Saturday that the individuals used spray paint and a substance that looked like blood to deface the building.
Knoxville News Sentinel reported (http://bit.ly/MU8CD3 ) that the three people were members of a group called Transform Now Plowshares. Ellen Barfield, who described herself as a friend of the group who had spoken with one of the people after the arrests, said the three individuals had cut through fences to get access and posted a banner and poured blood.
Barfield identified the three as Michael R. Walli, 63, of Washington, D.C.; Megan Rice, 82, of Nevada; and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, of Duluth, Minn.
Rice was listed in the Blount County jail’s online inmate information system as a federal inmate.
The nuclear complex does get protesters and activists to the site and Wyatt said they often stand in a public area near the facility’s front entrance. About a dozen activists were convicted last year of trespassing after they intentionally crossed a blue line separating state and federal property at the complex in 2010.
From the Chattanooga Times-Free Press: So how do you fend off an election challenge from a candidate like Basil Marceaux, whose last political venture and unconventional views on issues such as “gold fringe” flags and illegal police traffic stops left national comedians, radio talk shows and Internet bloggers marveling?
For state Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, who faces Marceaux in the Aug. 2 Republican primary for House District 27, the answer is very, very diplomatically.
“His positions, whether you agree or disagree, you can’t fault his enthusiasm in discussing his issues or promoting them,” said Floyd, who is seeking a third term. “I think we’re going to be all right in this race, especially the primary.”
But, Floyd quickly added, “you never take any opponent for granted.
…Now Marceaux’s back. But his campaign on Monday took yet another detour through Hamilton County Criminal Court, where Judge Rebecca Stern dismissed Marceaux’s efforts to block his trial for a January traffic violation. He contends his trial is unconstitutional.
Marceaux claims that, under the 1865 Freedmen’s Bureau Act, which was intended to help former slaves, his status as a former U.S. Marine gives him higher authority than a judge.
“I’m taking the opportunity to show that all of this is unlawful,” he said Monday after the hearing.
Marceaux has been slapped with numerous traffic violations in the past.
His last appearance before Stern in the current case, which involves charges for failing to maintain lanes and have proof of insurance, resulted in a 10-day jail stint for contempt after Marceaux told the judge that she was “out of order.” Marceaux also told her that, when he wins an election, the court “is going down.”
He said Monday that, besides his crusades over traffic stops, he wants to “fight for the veterans.”
He said he also intends to block the flying of Tennessee and American flags featuring “gold fringe,” arguing that the fringe means martial law has been declared and so it’s illegal.
Floyd, meanwhile, said he is focused on “economic expansion and jobs. That’s a top one for all of us.”
A Tennessee bill that requires police to arrest people involved in serious car accidents but don’t have a driver’s license and proof of insurance is awaiting the governor’s signature, reports the Chattanooga TFP. A companion bill, one that would set a higher bail for those who, in addition to being involved in the serious accident, turn out to be in the country illegally, is still in the House Finance Subcommittee, according to its sponsor, Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas. The bill is set to be heard next week.
Carr said both bills were prompted by an accident in the Nashville area two years ago in which a motorcyclist was killed and his daughter injured when a driver switched lanes without seeing them.
The driver, who didn’t have a driver’s license or insurance, was given only a citation for driving without a license, a misdemeanor. He also was suspected of being in the country illegally, but police weren’t able to determine whether that was true because officers only can check someone’s legal status once the person is arrested.
“Basically, the bill says a police officer shall arrest the individual in such cases where they don’t have a driver’s license or proof of insurance and serious bodily injury or death occur,” said Carr.
— Note: The first bill referenced is HB2466, entitled “The Ricky Otts Act.” The second is HB2678.
By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Occupy Nashville protesters are tempting police to arrest them as they challenge a new law meant to evict them from their camp near the state Capitol, said the House sponsor of the legislation signed by the governor.
The law prohibits camping on state property that is not specifically designated for it.
On Wednesday, two protesters wore camping tents as costumes and walked around the War Memorial Plaza saying the law criminalizes homelessness and its penalties are excessive.
By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Occupy Nashville protesters say they will continue challenging a new law intended to evict them from their camp near the state Capitol even though a fellow protester wasn’t arrested during enforcement of the law early Monday morning.
The law, signed by Gov. Bill Haslam, prohibits camping on state property that is not specifically designated for it.
Christopher Humphrey, 24, was maintaining his vigil at the group’s camp on War Memorial Plaza when he said about 20 state troopers came onto the plaza around 4 a.m. Monday.
Humphrey said he was asked to come out of his tent. When he did, he said he stood in front of the tent and extended his arms to be handcuffed.
“The officer very carefully grabbed my arm, walked me about four paces … and said that I wasn’t being arrested,” Humphrey said. “That was disappointing to me because I knew that I was going to be arrested.”
(Note: Updates, replaces earlier post)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Nashville councilman and the founder of a Sumner County tea party group have been charged with patronizing prostitution.
Councilman Brady Banks and Sumner United for Responsible Government co-founder Matthew Moynihan were caught in a sting on Thursday after responding to an Internet advertisement for an escort service, according to a police account reported in The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/zjh0Tr).
The 33-year-old Banks is the outreach director for Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and a member of Nashville Emerging Leaders.
Charged with Banks and the 38-year-old Moynihan was 37-year-old Jyotin Arora.
Banks and Arora do not have listed phone numbers, and an email to Banks was not immediately answered. A call to the number listed for Moynihan rang unanswered.
A judicial commissioner set each man’s bond at $1,000.