East Bethel man charged for making illegal sales

A Fridley businessman has been charged with four felonies for continuing to conduct sales after his permit had been revoked.

Sherwood Robert Johnson, 46, of East Bethel, owns and operates a car repair shop, Johnson Automotive in Fridley, according to the criminal complaint from the Anoka County Attorney’s Office.

Johnson was charged March 3 in Anoka County District Court with four counts of felony taxes-sales without permit after permit revoked. Each count carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $3,000 to $10,000 fine. A warrant was issued for his arrest and a hearing is scheduled for April 3.

As a business conducting retails sales, Johnson was supposed to send any sales tax collected to the state of Minnesota. Since 2007, he had not been regularly filing with the state, according to the complaint.

The state then revoked Johnson’s retail sales tax permit for failing to file sales taxes. In February 2013, the Department of Revenue sent a letter to the business informing Johnson of the permit revocation and telling him he can no longer make retail sales in the state of Minnesota and that it is a felony crime to make retail sales in the state without a retail sales permit.

Since then, Investigator Gary Charboneau of the criminal investigation division of the Minnesota Department of Revenue has noted four instances of sales transactions at the business.

The transactions allegedly took place on Feb. 15, 2013; March 5, 2013; April 15, 2013; and April 17, 2013, when sources told Charboneau they paid for car repairs at Johnson Automotive.

These transactions constitute a retail sale in Minnesota, and Johnson made the sales after his sales tax permit had been revoked.

Johnson was convicted in 2006 of a petty misdemeanor for speeding and in 2007 of a misdemeanor for driving while intoxicated.

Elizabeth Sias is at
elizabeth.sias@ecm-inc.com

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