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January 12, 2010

Jefferson County Man Arrested for Fraudulently Obtaining State Vehicles; Evading Sales Tax Payments

SALEM - A High Ridge, MO resident has been arrested and arraigned on charges of evading paying sales taxes, fraudulently posing as a Missouri auto dealer, and defrauding the Missouri Department of Conservation by stopping payment on a check he used to purchase vehicles from the department.

Robert B. Hector surrendered to Dent County court authorities Jan. 7 in Salem.  He was arraigned on the same day, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4.  He is free on bond of $45,000.

Hector, 46, is charged with fraudulently obtaining five vehicles and their titles at a Department of Conservation surplus property auction on Oct. 17 in Salem. He bought three pickup trucks and two Dodge Caravans at the auction and is charged with stopping payment on the check used to pay for the vehicles.

Hector is also charged with representing himself as a Missouri motor vehicle dealer to avoid paying sales tax when purchasing the vehicles. The purported business he was representing, Worldwide Capital A/S, is not a licensed Missouri dealership.  Normally, a person purchasing a vehicle must pay sales tax on the purchase.  However, licensed dealers do not have to pay sales tax for such a transaction.

Hector is also accused of selling the vehicles to a legitimate motor vehicle dealership using the fraudulent titles.

A special agent of the Missouri Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigation Bureau investigated the case and provided details to the Dent County Prosecutor's Office so that the charges against Hector could be levied.

"This is a brazen case of fraud and tax evasion," said Nick Humphrey, director of the Criminal Investigation Bureau.  "The bureau believes Mr. Hector deprived the Department of Conservation of the proper payments for its vehicles, he evaded paying the sales taxes he owed, and he misrepresented himself on the titles and to other people as a legitimate dealer when he bought and sold the vehicles.  Blatant fraud such as this against Missouri citizens and the state government needs to be rectified to discourage others from doing the same thing in the future."