Rick Tyler: ‘Make America White Again’ 2016 Candidate Arrested

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Rick Tyler. (Facebook)

Former Tennessee Congressional candidate Rick Tyler, whose campaign slogan in 2016 was, “Make America White Again, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on Monday.

According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, their Special Investigations Section probed the finances at Tyler’s former business, the Whitewater Grill in Ocoee, and discovered that he had concealed taxable sales between 2015 and 2016 totaling over $400,000.

Tyler was arrested Monday and bail was set at $30,000, the Cleveland Daily Banner reported.

Here’s what you need to know:

Tennessee Officials Allege Tyler Kept More Than $38K in Sales Tax From the State — Even After He Was Warned in 2016 That He Was Being Audited

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Rick Tyler. (Facebook)

Between April 2015 and March 2016, Tyler operated his Whitewater Grill in Polk County without paying any sales tax to the state — even after he was warned that he was being audited in September 2016, according to the grand jury indictment, obtained by local ABC News 9.

The indictment indicates that Tyler clearly knew about his sales tax obligations, because he showed one of his children how to program the cash register at the restaurant to collect a higher price. At one point, he was even interviewed by state Special Investigations officials, who alerted him to a criminal probe. Still, he didn’t pay anything, according to the indictment.

Tyler was charged with one count of tax evasion and one of theft of property. He could face a total of up to eight years in prison and a fine of $13,000 on both charges if convicted.

“The Department of Revenue has always been committed to making sure Tennessee’s tax laws and procedures are applied uniformly to ensure fairness,” Revenue Commissioner David Gerregano said in a release. “We can never allow individuals engaged in fraudulent tax activity to have a competitive advantage over honest Tennesseans.”

Tyler Was Last in the Public Eye When He Gave a Talk At the University of Tennessee Called ‘White Nationalism: Fact Vs. Fiction’

White nationalist Rick Tyler speaks at UT2019-05-28T22:37:37Z

Although Tyler’s Congressional campaign fizzled in 2016, he ran once more for the 3rd District seat in 2018, the Cleveland Banner reported.

Then, he reappeared last year, vowing to run for president on the American Freedom Party ticket and gave a speech at the University of Tennessee Knoxville called “White Nationalism: Fact vs. Fiction,” Knox News reported.

The American Freedom Party is designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which alleges it was started by Southern California neo-Nazis.

Interim University Chancellor Wayne Davis said in a statement before Tyler’s May 2019 speech that he was bound by state and federal law to allow the white nationalist to speak, but, “I want to be clear: white nationalism is contrary to our values as a university—racism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry should have no place on Rocky Top.”

Protesters at Tyler’s speech outnumbered attendees 10 to one, and a couple of people who went to hear the speech were hounded by protesters as they left, with water being thrown on their cars, Knox News reported.

“’White nationalism’ is a boogeyman,” Tyler told the outlet. “It is something that’s being used to manipulate people, and for overall nefarious purposes, I believe.”

Tyler’s Facebook page has been inactive since last summer. His cover photo remains an image of him with former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke in a radio studio.

Heavy reached out to Tyler for comment by phone and Facebook, but had not heard back as of Thursday.

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