Northport Caterer Sentenced for Theft of Sales and Related Tax Crimes Will Serve 150 Day Jail Sentence

November 29, 2021

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Aaron M. Frey announced today that James Toennis, 64, of Northport, Maine, has been sentenced to serve 150 days in jail for Theft by Misapplication of Sales Tax, Failure to Truthfully Collect, Account for and Pay Over Sales Tax, and Failure to Register as a Seller.

From May 2007 through October 2015, Toennis collected tax on sales made through his catering business, Coastal Maine Critters Clambakes, but kept the money for his own personal and business use rather than turning it over to Maine Revenue Services. In addition, for that entire period Mr. Toennis was not registered with Maine Revenue Services as a retail seller of goods.

Maine District Court Judge Patricia G. Worth sentenced Toennis to 364 days with all but 150 days suspended and one year of administrative release. Over the course of the deferred disposition period, Toennis timely and truthfully filed Maine tax returns and paid the liability thereon, and paid $32,501 towards the total restitution of $68,335. He will pay the remaining $35,834 in multiple payments over the next few years.

"Maine depends on its business owners to collect sales tax from customers and to timely and accurately pay the collected funds to Maine Revenue Services," said Frey. "My office will continue to prosecute those who fail to comply with their obligations."

The case was investigated by the Maine Revenue Services' Criminal Investigations Unit. Assistant Attorneys General Gregg D. Bernstein and Elizabeth T. Weyl handled the matter for the Attorney Generals Criminal Division.