Bothell contractor charged with theft of sales tax, filing false tax returns

A Bothell contractor was charged today with stealing nearly $23,000 in sales tax between 2004 and 2010 and covering up the theft by filing fraudulent tax returns.

The felony charges were filed in Snohomish County Superior Court against Let Me Paint It, Inc., a corporation operated by Timothy S. Strash and Tracy L. Kemp-Strash. The charges were filed by the Attorney General’s Office at the request of the Washington State Department of Revenue.

According to charging papers, the company claimed it had conducted no business from 2004 through 2010, but an audit found that it actually had done nearly $291,000 in work on which it had collected but not remitted sales tax.

Strash and Kemp-Strash admitted to auditors that they were at fault for not reporting the sales tax the company collected, but claimed it simply the result of being unorganized.

“We understand we owe what we owe and want to take care of our responsibility and put this mess behind us,” they wrote in an email to the Department.

Arraignment on the charges has been set for March 19.

The maximum penalty for charges filed against a corporation is a $20,000 fine.


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