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STATE REVENUE CHARGES OIL COMPANY WITH GASOLINE TAX EVASION; FIRST COMPLAINT FILED SINCE COMPACT SIGNING

 ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A North Dakota oil firm was recently charged with one count of selling fuel in Minnesota without a distributor's license and one count of failure to pay over state funds in the form of gasoline tax, the Minnesota Department of Revenue said today.
 "This is the first complaint filed since the department joined the Multi-state Motor Fuel Tax Compliance Task Force," said Larry Trimble, director, Petroleum Division. "As a task force member, we received additional funding from the Federal Highway Administration to devote to curbing motor fuel tax evasion, and it's working."
 Pederson Oil Company, Drayton, N.D., allegedly sold petroleum products to a Minnesota gravel pit company, even though its distributor license and authority to do business in Minnesota had been canceled for nonpayment of Minnesota motor fuel taxes in excess of $65,000.
 According to the complaint, David Pederson, co-owner of Pederson Oil Company, showed Minnesota revenue investigators sales tickets, for more than 1,300 gallons of diesel fuel sold in Minnesota between June 28 and July 2, 1993. They indicated fuel tax had been collected, although it was not submitted to the state.
 The complaint was signed by Ninth Judicial District Court Judge John Roue.
 Selling petroleum products without a distributor license is a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in prison, a $3,000 fine, or both. Failure to pay over state funds is a felony punishable by five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.
 State and federal officials believe the nation annually loses more than $1 billion in gasoline tax revenue, money intended for state and federal road improvements.
 Individuals who suspect motor fuel tax evasion may anonymously call the Minnesota Department of Revenue at 800-657-3500.
 -0- 11/4/93
 /CONTACT: Leslee Ellen Lane of Minnesota Department of Revenue, 612-296-0193, or 800-657-3595/


CO: Minnesota Department of Revenue ST: Minnesota IN: SU:

DB-DS -- MN004 -- 1192 11/05/93 11:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 5, 1993
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