The owner of an Orangeburg funeral home has been arrested and charged with tax evasion and operating without a license.
Robert Bethea III, 66, owner of Bethea Funeral Home, was arrested Dec. 27, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Revenue.
According to the release, Bethea attempted to evade payment of individual income and sales taxes totaling $98,934 from 2011 to 2019. The arrest warrant says Bethea willfully attempted to evade payment of taxes by withdrawing $278,548 from bank accounts to put the money “out of the government’s reach.”
Bethea admitted to agents that he purposely withdrew the money to avoid payment of a levy.
The warrants also say that since 2018, Bethea operated his business without a retail license despite receiving multiple violations. The funeral home performed 38 funerals after the date its retail license was revoked, according to the warrants.
If convicted, Bethea faces a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and/or a $200 fine for the operating without a license charge and up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for the charge of attempted tax evasion.p