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Published: Friday, 3/29/2013

Judge refers ex-florist from Sylvania into diversion plan

Brooks to pay $15,000 now on $67,000 tax debt

A Lucas County judge has referred a longtime Sylvania florist charged with failing to pay more than $67,000 in sales taxes to be screened for acceptance into a pretrial diversion program.

Keith H. Brooks, 73, owner of the former Keith H. Brooks Florist, is charged with one count of grant theft and five counts of failure to remit sales tax. Investigators said he filed tax returns each year between 2007 and 2011, paid sales taxes sporadically, but did not pay the full amount of sales tax owed.

His attorney, Ronnie Wingate, told Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook on Thursday that Mr. Brooks had given him $15,000 to apply toward restitution in the matter.

A hearing on the question of diversion — which would be in lieu of a criminal conviction in the matter — was scheduled for April 29.

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