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Used-car dealership owners plead guilty in tax-evasion case

April 12, 2017

Two owners of three used-car businesses in Indianapolis have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges after being accused of underreporting nearly $8.3 million in sales and failing to pay almost $600,000 in sales taxes to the state of Indiana.

Amy Lair and Brandi Pierson will pay $281,346 in unpaid sales taxes to settle the charges, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Wednesday.

Lair agreed to plead guilty to two Class D felony counts of failure to remit taxes held in trust. She agreed to pay $43,538 for unpaid taxes associated with the business Circle City Auto Connection, 6502 W. Washington St., and $118,352 for unpaid taxes associated with Circle City Auto Exchange, 3002 Madison Ave.

Pierson agreed to plead guilty to one Class D felony count of failure to remit taxes held in trust and to pay $119,455 for unpaid taxes associated with Indy Auto Brokers, 3030 Madison Ave.

A total balance of $595,346 is due to the Indiana Department of Revenue for unpaid sales tax. The violations, which took place from 2011 to 2016, were discovered when an outside audit was completed for Indy Auto Brokers that highlighted discrepancies in the dealership’s state tax forms.

The payments to the state will be claimed from funds that were seized from the dealerships during police raids in October.

Circle City Auto Exchange and Circle City Auto Connection were sued by the Indiana Attorney General's office in late 2015 for allegedly selling “total loss” vehicles to customers without disclosures, charging unfair prices and offering "useless" warranties.

 

 

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