A Miami, Oklahoma, woman who was a partner in a now-defunct lingerie shop in Joplin was granted a suspended sentence and probation when she pleaded guilty Monday to failing to pay state sales tax.
Echo Byfield, 46, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to a single count of failure to pay sales tax in a plea agreement dismissing 25 additional counts of the offense that she and Guy A. Allen, 46, originally faced.
Judge David Mouton accepted the plea agreement and granted Byfield a suspended imposition of sentence with five years of supervised probation. The judge ordered that she pay her share of $20,237 in restitution ordered in the case.
Allen pleaded guilty to a single count of failing to pay sales taxes in October 2018 and also was granted a suspended imposition of sentence and probation.
The two began operating a lingerie shop called In the Garden of Eden at 1901 E. 32nd St. in 2013, obtaining a sales tax license on Nov. 1, 2013, and filing monthly sales tax returns with payments of those taxes through May 31, 2014, according to court documents.
While they continued to file sales tax reports from May 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015, they failed to submit sales tax payments for those months and did not file any more reports after April 1, 2015, according to court documents.
The store had closed by August 2016, with registered gross sales of $269,136.59 from May 31, 2014, through June 30, 2016, when no sales taxes were paid, according to court documents. The state was owed $20,237.14 in sales taxes for the period.