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Former grocer ordered to pay $48,000 in unpaid sales taxes

A Tripp man was sentenced Monday to pay $48,714.89 in restitution for sales taxes he failed to pay in two counties over a nine-month period. Mark Mora, who closed three Corner Grocery stores in Tyndall, Scotland and Tripp in March after having op...

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A Tripp man was sentenced Monday to pay $48,714.89 in restitution for sales taxes he failed to pay in two counties over a nine-month period.

Mark Mora, who closed three Corner Grocery stores in Tyndall, Scotland and Tripp in March after having operated them for about a year, pleaded guilty to felony failure to pay tax in Hutchinson and Bon Homme counties on Monday morning. The sentencing was held at the Hutchinson County Courthouse in Olivet.

Mora was initially charged with 15 counts of failure to pay tax, a Class 1 misdemeanor, and three counts of failing to pay a tax two or more times, a Class 6 felony. He was accused of failing to pay the sales tax for the Tyndall store for seven months and of failure to pay sales tax for the Scotland and Tripp stores for four months each. The sales tax in question was all from between September 2016 and June 2017.

Arrest warrants for Mora were issued in both counties on March 8, and he was arrested within days. Mora was released on a $1,000 bond on March 10 in Hutchinson County and a $1,500 bond on March 12 in Bon Homme County.

In addition to having Mora pay restitution, Judge Patrick Smith gave Mora two suspended, concurrent two-year penitentiary sentences, two years probation and 120 days of community service. Mora was also ordered to pay for court costs and a $500 fine for each of the two felony convictions.

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"It came out during sentencing that there was an issue with him gambling around the same time," said Glenn Roth, who prosecuted the case for the state, in reference to Mora.

As a result, in addition to the standard rules of probation, Mora must complete an evaluation to determine whether he has a dependence on gambling, and he cannot go into any place where gambling is the primary source of income.

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