Tamara Wintzell, the owner of a handful of Fairhope area restaurants, was indicted June 27 on 60 counts of evading payment of sales tax to the city of Fairhope and state of Alabama and faces up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine per count if convicted.

Tamara Wintzell.

Tamara Wintzell.

Wintzell, 57, owns retail businesses in Fairhope under the collective name of Tamara’s Restaurant Group. She owns and operates Tamara’s Downtown, The Venue, Tamara’s Catering and Old Bay Steamer. She was released on $60,000 bond.

“Whether it’s tax evasion, ID theft refund fraud, or any other tax-related criminal activity, the Alabama Department of Revenue is always working hard to ensure that our citizens’ hard-earned money goes to the state services it is intended for, rather than ending up in the hands of criminals” said Revenue Commissioner Julie P. Magee. “I commend our Investigations Division and Baldwin County law enforcement officials and citizens for their vigilance in this case.”

According to the state revenue department, all state sales tax revenue funds public school systems in Alabama and sales tax paid to the city of Fairhope supports its general fund for city operations.

Wintzell’s arraignment is set for Aug. 10.