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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

Contact:Alan Spelce
R.J. DeSilva
(512) 463-4070

For Immediate Release
October 31, 2007

State Comptroller and Travis County District Attorney Announce Successful Prosecution of State Motor Fuels Tax Fraud


(AUSTIN)—Travis County State District Judge Jon Wisser sentenced Travis Glenn Roberson of East Texas to 11 years in state prison on each of 25 second degree felony counts of Texas motor fuels tax fraud and ordered him to pay $1.4 million in restitution to the state upon his release from prison. Roberson was sentenced Oct. 26 and will serve his sentences concurrently.

On October 4, a jury found Roberson guilty of stealing an estimated $1.9 million dollars in motor fuels tax during 1999 and 2000. The state of Texas was able to recover $500,000 from Roberson. Motor fuels tax is designated for education and highways.

“This should serve as a warning that the state of Texas is very serious when it comes to tax fraud,” Combs said. “We will use our full resources to go after those who cheat Texans out of money used to provide vital services. This man stole from the state highway system and, worst of all, from Texas school children.”

Roberson, president of Travis Fixed Base Operation and Service, a Louisiana corporation, supplied the VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in San Antonio with diesel fuel. Roberson billed the MTA for the fuel and the state tax, and then he illegally diverted the tax dollars for personal use.

Roberson attempted to cover his crime by filing false fuel tax returns. The Comptrollerís office revoked Robersonís supplier permit in December 1999. He continued operating without a permit for another year.

Investigators from the Comptrollerís Criminal Investigation Division gathered evidence and worked with the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney‘s Office and prosecuting attorneys Ruth–Ellen Gura and Chris Duggan on the successful prosecution of Roberson. More than 27,000 pages of documents were admitted into evidence at the trial.

Roberson was convicted of filing false reports to the state, supplying diesel fuel without a permit and 23 counts of failing to remit state taxes he collected from the MTA.

Roberson has been jailed since January 2006.

For more information, contact Allen Spelce or R.J. DeSilva of the Comptroller’s office at (512) 463-4070 or Travis County Assistant District Attorney Ruth-Ellen Gura at (512) 854-9115.

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