January 2, 2013

Vacuum cleaner salesman pleads not guilty to tax evasion

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- A Standish man who sells vacuum cleaners in New Hampshire pleaded not guilty this week to a seven-count indictment charging him with failing to pay an estimated $47,000 in sales and withholding tax.

Nathaniel J. Dupuis, 40, was arrested early Saturday and arraigned Monday in Kennebec County Superior Court via video link from the jail.

At that proceeding, he told Justice Donald Marden that he works for a business selling vacuum cleaners and that he has to drive to New Hampshire each day to sell them because he's been told he cannot collect taxes in Maine.

Marden set bail at $5,000 unsecured and Dupuis was released.

Dupuis is charged with two counts of theft by misapplication involving sales tax and withholding tax; three counts of intentional evasion of sales tax; and two counts of failure to collect, account for or pay over sales tax. The alleged offenses all occurred between February 2006 and June 2008, according to court records.

During that period, he was alleged to be "an officer, director, member or agent of CNF Enterprises Inc., and/or DNL Distributing, Inc.," the indictment says. Additional information about either company was unavailable.

An assistant district attorney told Marden that a total of about $47,000 is missing.

Records in Kennebec County Superior Court show Dupuis was summoned to court Feb. 28 on a complaint containing similar charges; however, the summons was returned as "undeliverable."

Dupuis also allegedly failed to appear for an arraignment on April 18. He told the judge he had moved and never received the notices. The indictment lists an address on Shaker Road in Gray.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Gregg Bernstein.

Betty Adams -- 621-5631

badams@centralmaine.com

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