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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

For Immediate Release
March 12, 2010

Abilene Man Receives Prison Sentence for State Tax Evasion

(AUSTIN) — An Abilene man has been sentenced to prison for two years for trying to avoid paying motor fuel tax. Tommy Eugene Aaron, 51, pled guilty to the second degree felony offense of evading motor fuel tax on March 3 in a Travis County court. Aaron was charged with stealing dyed diesel fuel valued between $1,500 and $20,000, storing it without a required permit, using it in vehicles driven on the highway and failing to pay motor fuel tax.

Dyed diesel is untaxed diesel fuel intended to be used in off-road vehicles such as farm tractors and construction equipment. It is colored so law enforcers can easily tell when untaxed fuel is illegally used in highway vehicles.

In fiscal 2009, the state collected about $3 billion in gasoline and diesel fuel taxes.

“Through the motor fuels tax, drivers pay to build and maintain Texas highways,” Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said. “We will continue to pursue tax evaders to the full extent of the law to ensure that revenue for state operations gets collected.”

The Criminal Investigation Division of the Comptroller’s office, the Winkler County Sheriff's Office, the Loving County Sheriff's Office, the Jones County Sheriff's Office and the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Service of the Texas Department of Public Safety participated in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by the Motor Fuel Tax Fraud Division of the Travis County District Attorney's office.

To find out more about the Criminal Investigation Division of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, visit www.window.state.tx.us/about/cid/.

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