Otter Tail County sweet shop owners charged with felony tax crimes
Margaret Haviland and Terry Haviland of Battle Lake, Minnesota, are charged with multiple felony tax crimes, and she faces additional charges in connection with her business, Granny’s Pantry.
BATTLE LAKE, Minn. — A Battle Lake couple is charged with multiple felony tax crimes, some of them related to a popular sweet shop.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced Friday, Feb. 17, that the Otter Tail County Attorney’s Office recently charged Margaret Haviland and Terry Haviland with five felony counts of failing to file individual income tax returns and five felony counts of failing to pay individual income tax.
Margaret Haviland also is charged with 29 felony counts of failing to file sales and use tax returns and 31 felony counts of failing to pay and remit sales and use tax in connection with the business she owns, the Department of Revenue said in a news release.
The business, Granny's Pantry, at 106 N. Lake Ave. in Battle Lake, sells ice cream, fudge, candy and other treats.
The couple allegedly owes more than $174,000 in individual income and sales taxes, according to the Department of Revenue.
According to court complaints, the Havilands failed to file income tax returns or pay income tax for tax years 2017-21.
Upon further investigation into the business, Margaret Haviland allegedly failed to file sales and use tax returns for periods from 2017 through 2022, and failed to pay sales tax for periods during that same time frame, according to the Department of Revenue.
According to the complaints, Margaret Haviland told investigators she was aware of the missing and unpaid returns and confirmed the business collected sales tax from customers, but the money was used for business needs instead of being sent to the state.
Reached by phone Friday, Feb. 17, Margaret Haviland declined to comment on the charges. Attempts to reach Terry Haviland by phone for this story were not successful.
Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.