By Kevin Deutsch
A Parkland auto repair shop owner was arrested on Saturday for stealing state tax money he collected from customers, court records show.
Between December 2018 and January 2021, 39-year-old Azazul Islam, of 8200 NW 124th Ter. block, took nearly $1.3 million in customer sales from his company, Shonali Auto Service, which operates under the fictitious name Discount Tire Choice at 1509 Lyons Rd. in Coconut Creek, according to state tax investigators.
Islam collected more than $84,000 in sales tax from customers during this period, but only paid the state about $22,000, deliberately withholding about $62,000 from the Florida Department of Revenue. , says an affidavit of arrest.
Islam had several chances to pay the taxes he owed and avoid criminal prosecution, but failed to respect state authorities, records show. Investigators said he also refused to hand over financial records which were later obtained by subpoena.
Records show he was charged with theft of public funds, incarcerated in Broward County Main Jail and released on $7,500 bond.
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime reporter and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on the staff of the Miami Herald, New York Daily News and Palm Beach Post.