The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Cook County Attorney’s Office recently charged Thomas Patrick Gearin, of Forest Lake, with 14 tax related felonies. Mr. Gearin is charged with four counts of failure to file income tax returns, four counts of failing to pay income tax, three counts of failing to pay sales tax, and three counts of conducting retail sales without a sales tax permit. 

According to the complaint, Mr. Gearin owned and operated a glass installation company, Suburban Glass & Mirror Inc., until May 2012 when his sales tax permit was revoked for noncompliance. The complaint states that between 2013 and 2018, Mr. Gearin operated a new business, Bay Glass North Inc., despite never reinstating his revoked permit for Suburban Glass & Mirror Inc. According to the complaint, Mr. Gearin earned income from his work but did not file individual income tax returns and did not pay income tax each year from 2013 through 2016. Additionally, the complaint states that from 2015 through 2017, Mr. Gearin collected sales tax for Bay Glass North Inc., but did not pay the tax to the state. According to the complaint, Mr. Gearin and his businesses, Suburban Glass & Mirror Inc. and Bay Glass North Inc., owe more than $74,000 in sales, withholding, and income taxes.

Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Although most taxpayers comply with tax laws voluntarily, the department takes enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers to ensure that tax laws are administered fairly.

Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from public tips. There is a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects that a person or business is violating Minnesota tax laws. Local callers may dial 651-297-5195 or call toll-free by dialing 1-800-657-3500. Tips can also be submitted to the department by email at tax.fraud@state.mn.us. Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous. 

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