Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Robert L. Megna announced that three businesses, who violated state tax laws by hiding or neglecting to collect sales tax have pleaded guilty this week and agreed to pay more than $172,000 in back sales tax, interest, and penalties. More than $92,000 of that will go into Nassau County coffers.
Rice said that the businesses are a coffee shop, an automotive parts store, and a home heating oil supplier, and were investigated when an examination of their sales tax receipts raised red flags. Obligated by law to file sales tax returns quarterly, the businesses either declined to file or reported suspiciously low figures.
"In these tough economic times, every dollar counts, and these three businesses felt that cheating the system and their fellow taxpayers was the best way to save a buck," Rice said. "I applaud the efforts of the state tax department, that works tirelessly to ensure that those who attempt to cheat the system face the consequences."
The following three businesses paid a total of $172,168 to the state, with $92,973 in sales tax receipts going to Nassau County:
Family Fuel and Heating Service of Rockville Centre pleaded guilty to charges of person not licensed as a transporter, a misdemeanor violation of the state tax law. Rice said the corporation was transporting the home heating fuel to nearby marinas and selling it as boat fuel. The corporation is not authorized to transport the fuel to any place other than residences. The corporation will pay $100,000 to cover back taxes and penalties, and agreed to file amended corporate tax returns. The company's proprietor, Robert Pierce, agreed not to apply for a license to distribute motor fuel or diesel motor fuel. The company is represented by Melvin Roth, Esq.
Abigail's Cuisine and Coffee Shop of Rockville Centre pleaded guilty to charges of willful failure to file a return or report. Rice said that the restaurant owners admitted to collecting sales tax, but not filing tax returns. They will pay $20,775 in back taxes that they collected but never remitted to the state and pay a $500 fine. The company is represented by John Gonzalez, Esq.
KSK Corporation in Hicksville, an automotive parts dealer, pleaded guilty to charges of filing a fraudulent return or statement after undercover officers revealed that the corporation was not collecting sales tax on high end items like tires and rims. The company will pay $51,393 in restitution for sales tax they should have collected, and a $5,000 fine. The company is represented by Russell Rothberg, Esq.
"Business owners who violate the state tax laws not only cheat their customers but deprive all New Yorkers of tax revenue that funds critical services such as education, transportation and health programs," Megna said. "The Tax Department, with the help of prosecutors such as District Attorney Kathleen Rice, is committed to pursuing tax scofflaws and tax law violators such as those charged in this case. I thank District Attorney Rice for her aggressive prosecution of these cases."
Handling the case for the District Attorney's Office is Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Glicksman of the Economic Crimes Bureau.