An Auburn, Wash., couple, charged with stealing thousands of dollars in state sales taxes collected from recreational vehicle buyers, pleaded guilty Thursday (Dec. 2) in King County Superior Court, the Tacoma News Tribune reported.
Daniel G. Watts, 54, and Donna Watts, 52, operated Watts Enterprises Inc. in Kent until 2009. Judge Michael Hayden gave the two a 12-month suspended sentence. They have already paid the state $186,249 in full restitution for sales tax receipts, penalties and interest.
The charges were brought by the financial crimes unit of the state attorney general’s Office.
The state said the business failed to remit sales tax it collected from customers during two of the last three months it was in business, in March and May 2009.
“Customers pay these taxes to finance state and local services such as police protection, not line someone’s pockets,” said Mike Grundhoffer, the department’s senior assistant director for operations. “We are on the lookout for such thefts and will prosecute violators accordingly.”