Comptroller’s Criminal Investigation Division Stops Motor Fuel Thieves
AUSTIN, April 7, 2016 - Each year, the Texas Comptroller’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) helps local and state law enforcement return indictments against tax fraud suspects, including more than 100 felony indictments against motor fuel suspects in 2015.
“CID’s work is extremely important, and we want the public to know that we will not tolerate these crimes, which are an affront to Texans who purchase motor fuel legally,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said.
Most recently, CID officers worked with Midland police to stop a rash of motor fuel thefts from convenience stores. In these heists, suspects would park next to underground fuel tanks, lower a fuel hose into the tank and steal fuel with electric pumps and hoses hidden in their vehicles. Such equipment can pump 95 gallons of fuel per minute.
Recent trends in motor fuel theft include:
Texas’ motor fuel taxes represent the fifth-largest source of state tax revenue. In fiscal 2015, motor fuel tax collections totaled $3.3 billion. This revenue supports public education and highways.
Motor fuel tax fraud and theft penalties range from misdemeanors to second-degree felonies, punishable by two to 20 years in prison.