Sales Tax Cheat To Serve 70 Days

October 4, 2005

Attorney General Steven Rowe today announced the sales tax fraud conviction and sentencing of Scott Mitchell of New Milford, Connecticut, the former owner of Performance Power Boats, a Saco boat dealership. On September 27, 2005, the York County Superior Court sentenced Mitchell to serve 70 days in jail following his guilty plea to theft of State sales tax funds (class B). Mitchell admitted to failing to turn over to the State Tax Assessor over $97,000 of sales tax money that he collected from customers of boat sales from May 1998 through August 2002.

Justice Paul Fritzsche sentenced Mitchell to three years in jail, with all but 70 days to be suspended, to be followed by two years of probation. At the time of sentencing, Mitchell paid $131,300 in restitution to the State. He is expected to start serving his jail sentence at the York County jail on October 17, 2005.

The investigation of Mitchell's business started in early 2002 with a civil audit of his business records by Maine Revenue Services. When the audit revealed serious discrepancies in what Mitchell reported for boat sales to the State, as opposed to his actual sales, the Criminal Investigations Unit of Maine Revenue Services investigated and the Attorney General's Office prosecuted Mitchell.

Attorney General Rowe said, "Maine's tax laws are not mere suggestions. By pocketing the money paid by customers as sales tax, Mitchell not only stole from his customers, but all the people of Maine."