Former Burger King owner pays taxes in Windsor, Smithfield

Published 7:45 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The former owner of six area Burger King restaurants has settled her meals tax debt in Smithfield and Windsor, but not in Franklin.

Samina Azhar, 56, 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.

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Franklin City Attorney Taylor Williams said Monday afternoon that Azhar had mailed a $10,000 cashier’s check to the city. Despite the payment, Azhar is still in default in Franklin, owing the city about $50,000.

As the head of Azhar Holdings, Azhar operated Burger King restaurants in Franklin, Windsor, Suffolk, Smithfield 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 delinquent meals taxes 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.

Williams said the city now has to go through the process again 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.