Used car dealer facing tax evasion, fraud charges

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, January 7, 2021

The owner of a used car dealership in Albert Lea is facing charges of tax evasion and fraud for allegedly understating sales tax to the state on vehicles his dealership sold. 

Timothy Brian Mann, 45, faces one count of tax evasion, one count of tax fraud and one count of false application for certificate of title, all felonies.

Timothy Mann

Mann made his first appearance on the charges via a Zoom hearing Thursday in Freeborn County District Court. 

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Freeborn County Attorney David Walker said Mann had previously been scheduled to appear on the case Nov. 12, but failed to appear on that date and then was brought in on a warrant. He posted bail of $10,000. 

Court documents state a Minnesota State Patrol trooper received a complaint from the Driver and Vehicle Services office in Albert Lea on Nov. 18, 2019, that a used car dealer had sold a car and then filed an application to register the car with an inaccurate sale price and an understated sales tax. The person who reported the incident said her son had bought a vehicle for $4,995 from Mann, who owns Mann Motors. When Mann came into the DVS office to transfer the title for the vehicle, he reportedly misstated the purchase price as $2,995. The woman also alleged her son’s signature had been forged on the application. 

The trooper reportedly found the application Mann filed to register the vehicle and noted it stated the purchase price of the 2009 Honda Civic as $2,995 and that the sales tax remitted was $10. 

The bill of sale showed that Mann had reportedly sold the car to the person’s son for $4,995 as she had reported, and that the sales tax collected was about $325 — about $315 more than what was reported on the application. 

In a search warrant on Mann Motors in Albert Lea, the trooper reportedly found records during the search that revealed the sale of approximately 156 vehicles with understated sales tax collected. 

The total underreporting of sales tax collected by the dealership was about $42,700, court documents state.  

Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab stated the $10,000 bail Mann already posted could serve as conditional bail and Mann would have to obey conditions such as submitting a waiver of extradition, not leaving the state without prior court permission and making future court appearances. 

Unconditional bail was set at $20,000.

He is next slated to appear in court Jan. 21.