Miami-Dade man stole more than $2.1 million in sales tax from proceeds at
car dealerships in Lee and Miami-Dade counties ~
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Miami-Dade County man was sentenced to 17 months in prison after pleading guilty to criminal charges of stealing state sales tax and grand theft. As part of his sentence, Courtney Paul Longman will have to pay the State of Florida more than $3.9 million dollars in sales tax owed, penalties and fines. He was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
Longman, 48, owned and operated several used car dealerships in Miami-Dade and Lee counties. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Department of Revenue began investigating two of Longman’s Miami-Dade dealerships, Horizon Car and Van Sales and U Ride Motors of Florida, in 2002. A separate investigation was launched in 2004 into Preowned Motors Inc., Longman’s business in Lee County. A comparison between the state sales tax reported to the Department of Revenue and the state sales tax that was collected from customers as indicated on sales contracts and/or reported to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles revealed that Longman withheld more than $2.1 million in state sales taxes after collecting the money from customers.
In addition to his prison sentence, Longman must also serve a two-year sentence under community control and 11 years of probation. He was sentenced by Judge Mark A. Steinbeck of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit.
Longman’s sentence in Lee County will run concurrent with an 18-month prison sentence received in Miami-Dade County for charges related to the Miami-run dealerships. The Miami-Dade sentence also includes two years of community control, followed by 20 years probation.