Probes by the Tennessee and Federal Bureaus of Investigation are said to be looking into mishandling of sales tax investigations by former Tennessee State Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press cited Tommy Thompson, District Attorney General for the 15th Judicial District as saying the McCall business is under “serious investigation for failing to pay sales tax and dealing in cash.”
Thompson told The Wilson Post that he had been interviewed about the McCall case by both the TBI and FBI and said it was his understanding that the interest in the case was initiated from allegations that customers were paying cash for goods to avoid paying sales tax charges.
Summers said the TBI and FBI investigations are focusing on the actions of Farr. He added that the type of sales tax errors D.T. McCall & Sons is accused of committing happen hundreds of times every year by many businesses.
He went on to say these errors can occur by a simple mistake on a sales tax return or through an internal error with filing. The investigations, Summers said are relative only to Farr’s actions in handling these types of cases.
As for closure in the case, Summers said that there has been “no settlement consummated” at this time, although he said D.T. McCall & Sons has made a payment in principal to the state to settle the civil dispute.
He went on to say that the settlement is waiting for the current commissioner, Charles Trost’s, signature. Once that occurs, the case, he said, would be closed. Summers said the amount of the settlement is “confidential information.”
The Chattanooga Times Free Press quoted numbers from the State Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance indicating the McCalls contributed over $20,000 from their political action committee and McCall family members to Republican candidate for State Senate Mae Beavers.
A.J. McCall himself was set to run in the State Senate District 17 race that is now down to Beavers and Democratic candidate George McDonald, but withdrew those plans in January.
Summers said there are many forms of sales tax disputes and they vary in severity. Summers said there are different ways to deal with these cases depending on how severe the case may be.
“D.T. McCall will weather this political storm,” Summers said. “It’s (the McCall company) run by Tennesseans trying to do the right thing.”
Summers said the accusations against McCall because of the investigations concerning Farr have become “unsavory and unfair” and were “used as a sword to attack A.J. McCall.”
“To our knowledge there are no allegations of misconduct on the part of D.T. McCall,” Summers said. “To our knowledge there’s no criminal investigation.”