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Restaurateur accused of embezzling meals taxes

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

The owner of a Pulaski Pizza restaurant is facing multiple felony embezzlement charges for allegedly collecting a meals tax, but failing to pay it to the town.

Lt. Mike Hudson with Pulaski Police Department said charges were filed against Moustafa Ahmed, owner of Bella Pizzeria, based on information from Pulaski’s finance department. He estimated Ahmed owes the town more than $20,000 in meals taxes.

According to court records, Ahmed was arrested Aug. 7 on 19 felony counts of embezzlement. He was released from custody on personal recognizance.

Ahmed is alleged to have failed to pay meals taxes to Pulaski each month from July 2016 through September 2017 and March through June of this year, court records show.

Hudson said embezzlement charges were filed because the taxes allegedly were collected, but Ahmed allegedly kept the money instead of sending it to the town as required by law.

An Oct. 22 preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Pulaski County General District Court.

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