- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A Metairie used car dealer faces felony charges for evading sales taxes on the purchases of a Ferrari and a classic Lincoln Continental.

Investigators with the Louisiana Department of Revenue said Wednesday that 60-year-old Joseph Wayne Leone bought the cars using his LDR Resale Certificate, which allows sales-tax exempt purchases that are intended for resale to customers. But he failed to pay sales taxes on the vehicles after registering them for his personal use.

Leone bought the 2006 Ferrari for $124,000 from a dealer in Florida. When registering the car in Louisiana, the department said in a news release that Leone listed its taxable value as $5,000 and sold it to himself. Then he paid $479.75 in sales taxes. Authorities said he owes $6,885 in state sales taxes, penalties and interest for underreporting the car’s taxable value.

Leone also bought a 1956 Lincoln Continental in Texas for $44,000, but registered it in Louisiana for personal use. Because personal ownership of the car is not tax exempt, he owes $2,540 in state sales taxes, penalties and interest, the department said.

Derek Parnell, executive director of the Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission, said Leone’s dealer’s license has been revoked and they’re further investigating his activities.

Leone was booked Tuesday into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of theft, injuring public records and failing to account for state tax monies. It was not immediately known whether Leone had posted bond or if he is represented by an attorney who could comment on the charges.

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