Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker announced on Tuesday that Roger Dean entered a plea of guilty to one felony count of making a false statement and 19 felony counts of theft by conversion in the Superior Court of Clayton County. Dean, owner of Dean's Barbeque in Clayton County, was charged with making false statements in connection with filing state sales tax returns and with stealing sales tax revenue collected from his customers. Following the plea and sentencing hearing, Clayton Superior Court Judge Matthew Simmons sentenced Dean to five years, one year to be served in the county's work release program with no available credit for good time, followed by four years on probation. Dean will be permitted to work up to 40 hours each week; the remainder of each week is to be spent in confinement. In addition to other conditions of probation, Mr. Dean was ordered to pay restitution to the state in the amount of $20,403.

Attorney General Baker said, "My office will vigorously pursue and prosecute to the full extent of the law these cases of stealing sales tax revenue. This is nothing more than stealing out of the pockets of the citizens of this state, citizens who work hard and pay their taxes. I hope this prosecution and conviction sends a clear signal to others that if you are caught, you will be convicted."

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Georgia Department of Revenue. Commissioner of Revenue T. Jerry Jackson said, "I am very appreciative of the Attorney General's efforts to bring this case to a successful conclusion." Assistant Attorneys General Anthony J. Musto and Stacey K. Hydrick prosecuted the case.