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3 C-Store Retailers Face Tax Evasion Charges

Store owner and managers underreported more than $2 million in sales, according to arrest warrants
tax evasion in convenience stores
Photograph: Shutterstock

A South Carolina convenience-store owner and two of his employees face tax evasion and other charges for allegedly underreporting sales to avoid paying sales taxes.

The state Department of Revenue arrested Jagdishbhai B. Patel, the owner of five convenience stores, and two of his store managers on a total of 27 tax-related charges.

Patel of Florence, South Carolina, is the owner and operator of three stores—Florence Quickstop, Sav-Way 24 and Sav-Way 28—in Florence County, Shell-Lugoff in Kershaw County and Bennettsville Quickstop in Marlboro County. He is charged with 14 counts of tax evasion and two counts of conspiracy to evade the payment of sales tax.

Patel faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000 for each count of tax evasion and five years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000 for each count of conspiracy.

Between 2018 and 2020, Patel underreported sales by more than $2 million and evaded $164,240 in sales tax, according to the arrest warrants.

Shailesh Kumar Patel of Bennettsville, the manager of the Bennettsville Quickstop, is charged with three counts of assisting in a false or fraudulent tax return and one count of conspiring with the store’s owner to evade sales tax, according to arrest warrants. The warrants allege he assisted in evading $38,320 in sales tax by underreporting at least $478,991 in sales.

Rakeshkumar G. Patel of Florence, the manager of three of the stores, is charged with six counts of assisting in a false or fraudulent tax return, and one count of conspiracy. The warrants allege he assisted in evading $52,069 in sales tax by underreporting sales of at least $650,883.

The two store managers each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $500 fine for each count of assisting in a false return, and five years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000 for each count of conspiracy.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue said that, by taking enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers, the department seeks to prevent unfairly increasing the tax burden on those who do comply.

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