Vision Center owner arrested for non-payment of tax


COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) – South Carolina Department of Revenue agents said they arrested the 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 withholding tax, and one count of unlicensed retail operations , according to SCDOR.

Agents say Franklin was responsible for collecting, reporting and paying withholding tax from employee wages for his company, H Rubin Vision Center.

According to the arrest warrants, Franklin issued W-2s to employees reflecting withholding tax from their wages, but he did not voluntarily pay taxes to SCDOR.

Agents say that for the 2015 to 2018 tax years, Franklin did not pay a total of $ 131,745 in withholding tax owed to the state.

SCDOR said Franklin was charged with operating without a retail license because the H Rubin Vision Center‘s license was revoked in 2016 for unpaid business taxes.

While Franklin was advised to shut down the business and stop doing retail sales, SCDOR says it received several violations for continuing to operate while it continued to do retail sales until July 2018.

If convicted of failing to collect, account for or pay 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 found guilty of operating without a license, the ministry says he also faces a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and / or a fine of $ 200.

Franklin is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center pending a bail hearing.

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