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​South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) agents arrested a Columbia couple on Thursday, charging one with four counts of tax evasion and the other with two counts of failure to pay taxes, file a return, and keep records.

Misty Rose Belton, 43, of Columbia, is charged with four counts of tax evasion, one count of failure to pay taxes, and one count of operating with a suspended retail license. Belton operated MA Associates, LLC, which sold vacuum systems. From 2017 through 2020, according to arrest warrants, she reported net taxable sales of $3,063,122, under-reporting the actual sales of $5,226,769. As a result, she evaded $170,259 in state Sales Tax.

The warrants also allege Belton failed to file Sales Tax Returns for 2021, but had net taxable sales of $750,546. As a result, she owes $60,044 in Sales Tax.

According to the warrant, Belton's retail license was revoked by the SCDOR on March 17, 2021, but her store was open and operational on February 16, 2022.

Michael Orlando Belton Sr., 52, of Columbia, sold vacuum systems for Belton's business. According to warrants, Belton failed to file Individual Income Tax returns in 2017 and 2018, though his taxable income for those years was $100,095, resulting in taxes owed of $6,004. He is charged with two counts of failure to pay taxes, file returns, and keep records.

If convicted, Misty Belton faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000 for each count of tax evasion, 1 year in prison and/or a fine of $10,000 for the failure to pay taxes and file a return, and 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $200 for the count of operating a business on a suspended retail license. Michael Belton, if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of 1 year and/or a fine of $10,000 for each count. Both are being held pending a bond hearing at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

The SCDOR is committed to the fair administration of tax laws. By taking enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers, the Department seeks to prevent unfairly increasing the tax burden on those who do comply. 

If you suspect or know of anyone or a business that has committed a state tax crime, such as tax evasion or tax fraud, contact SCDOR Criminal Investigation and submit a Tax Violation Complaint Form (CID-27) to or mail it to:

South Carolina Department of Revenue
Attn: Fraud Advisor
2070 Northbrook Blvd, Suite B7
North Charleston, SC 29406

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