file photo

file photo

Downtown Bellevue flower shop co-owner pleads guilty to stealing sales tax

Defendent sentenced to 240 hours of community service and fined $97,858 by the state.

The owner of a Bellevue flower and gift shop has been sentenced to 240 hours of community service and ordered to pay a total of $97,858 to the state for stealing sales tax.

Olivia Payment, co-owner of Flowers for the People and Flowers for the Peeps, pleaded guilty on Jan. 20 in King County Superior Court to one count of Unlawful Collection of Debt, a Class C felony. Payment was originally charged with two counts of theft in the first degree, but the state later amended those charges.

Payment and her brother operated a flower and gift shop in downtown Bellevue from 2015 to 2018. Olivia Payment had failed to file tax returns for several years, prompting the Department of Revenue to audit the business. The audit showed that Olivia Payment had not filed tax returns and had been collecting sales tax from customers but was not sending it to the state as required.

Olivia Payment continued to collect and keep the sales tax after agreeing to pay it back to the state. After Payment did not send the sales tax, the state revoked the business’ license in 2018. The Payments continued to operate the business out of their house as Flowers For The Peeps LLC. after the downtown location was closed.

Further investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office revealed that Olivia Payment had moved revenue and the collected sales tax between several private and business accounts to elude auditors. The state Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case on behalf of Revenue.

Collecting but not remitting sales tax is illegal under Washington state law. Businesses that sell retail goods and services in Washington are required to collect sales tax from customers and send it to the state.

According to the Washington State Department of Revenue, retail sales tax is the largest source of state revenue and funds vital services that benefit Washington’s residents and economy, including schools, health care, and more.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Dr. Faisal Khan. Courtesy of King County.
Dr. Faisal Khan appointed as next King County health director

Dennis Worsham will continue to serve as interim director until September 6.

King County experts discuss extreme heat mitigation plan

The plan includes improving infrastructure and communications to prevent future disasters.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterburg (File Photo)
King County Prosecuting Attorney vows to protect reproductive freedom

Dan Satterberg joins over 80 prosecutors from around the country in their pledge.

King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

File photo.
Former Bellevue teacher sentenced in federal court over child pornography

Department of Justice says the man had 1,764 images of child sexual abuse in his possession.

Photo courtesy of King County.
Officials urge caution when swimming this summer

Cold spring temperatures and larger than normal snowpack have created dangerous conditions

File photo.
Bellevue man charged in 2019 assault that left a man dead on a Redmond roadway

After a two-year investigation, Bradley Hibbard was arrested for murder in the second degree.

Most Read