Master designer Keith Brooks works on a wreath for a client at Brooks Florist Saturday during Small Business in downtown Sylvania. Mr. Brooks was arrested on charges that he did not pay sales taxes.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
Sylvania florist Keith H. Brooks, who has provided floral arrangements for elite occasions for years, was handcuffed in Lucas County Common Pleas Court today on charges that he failed to pay more than $67,000 in sales taxes.
Mr. Brooks, 72, former owner of Keith H. Brooks Florist, is charged with one count of grand theft and five counts of failure to remit Ohio sales tax. If convicted, he faces up to nine years in prison.
Judge Stacy Cook continued his arraignment on the charges until Jan. 7 and released Mr. Brooks on his own recognizance. He was temporarily taken into custody to be fingerprinted and photographed.
According to the Dec. 18 indictment, Mr. Brooks is charged with failing to remit sales tax every year from 2007 through 2011. He is also charged alternately with one count of grand theft.
Authorities said Mr. Brooks was filing returns every year and paid sporadically but did not pay the full amount owed. He is charged with failing to pay $67,678.37 in state sales tax over the five years.
“People may think these kinds of cases are insignificant, but if the tax that are collected in the state’s name should be submitted to the state,” said Jeff Lingo, chief of the criminal division for the Lucas County prosecutor’s office.
According to the Ohio Secretary of State Web site, Keith H. Brooks Florist, LLC was dissolved on April 9. A phone call to the Main Street shop was not answered today.
The State Department of Taxation has issued seven liens during 2012 against Mr. Brooks’ Sherwood Forest Manor Road home totaling $37,041.08. Additional liens have been issued in the past.
Attorney Joshua Driskell appeared with Mr. Brooks at the initial court appearance. He could not be reached for comment after the hearing.
Contact Erica Blake at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-213-2134.