Ex-Claiborne County Sheriff sentenced to 4-year probation after pleading guilty to attempted evasion of sales tax

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TAZEWELL, Tenn. (WATE) – Former Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray will serve four years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to attempting to evade sales tax.

Ray pleaded guilty to two counts of attempt to evade sales tax in connection to two vehicles he purchased and registered under his grandson’s name.

The former sheriff of Claiborne County David Ray was arrested along with two other employees in August 2019 after an investigation by the TBI uncovered evidence of illegal activity. He was charged with with seven counts of official misconduct, one count of use of inmates for personal gain, one count of forgery and six counts of attempt to evade or defeat tax due.

In June of 2014, Ray purchased, took the old paperwork to the county clerk’s office and registered the vehicle under his grandson’s name. Since the sale was characterized as a ‘even trade’ on documentation, no sales tax was paid. Ray also purchased 1994 Ford F-150 in February of 2016 and again registered the vehicle under his grandson’s name. The sale was described as an ‘even trade’ and no sales tax paid.

Attempt to evade sales tax is a Class E felony in Tennessee which carries a sentence of 1-2 years of probation. The sentences for both counts will be served consecutively.

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