Former Burger King owner pays $10,000 to Franklin

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—The former owner of six area Burger King restaurants, who last week settled her meals tax debt in Smithfield and Windsor, has paid a portion of her $60,000 debt to Franklin.

Franklin City Attorney Taylor Williams said Monday that Samina Azhar, 56, mailed a $10,000 payment for the meals tax to the city.

Restaurants in Franklin must collect a 6.5 percent tax from customers and turn that money over to the city. Azhar still owes $50,000 from the meals tax she collected.

She was arrested in Plano, Texas, three weeks ago on Virginia warrants for failure to pay back meals taxes.

Isle of Wight Commonwealth’s Attorney Wayne Farmer said Azhar paid the back taxes—more than $12,000 to Windsor and nearly $10,000 to Smithfield—last week.

As the head of Azhar Holdings, Azhar also operated Burger King restaurants in Suffolk and Chesapeake before abruptly closing the businesses in 2008 and being charged with failing to pay meals taxes and operating without a business license.

Last year, Azhar appeared in court and agreed to pay the delinquent meals taxes in monthly installments in exchange for suspended jail sentences. But officials said the payments stopped last fall.

Williams said it turns out police in Texas only arrested Azhar on Isle of Wight warrants and not those from Franklin.

Since she has paid the debt to Isle of Wight, Azhar won’t be required to appear in court in the county, Farmer said.

As for the $50,000 owed to Franklin, Williams said the city has to go through the legal process for Azhar to appear in court to answer to the city.

“What we have to do is have her arrested on the Franklin paperwork,” Williams said.