Valley Stream and Maspeth gas stations failed to pay from Dec. 2008 to Nov. 2012
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Queens man, who was the president of two gas station companies, was arrested today for failing to remit $197,411.34 of collected sales tax.
Ehah Labib, 43, of Glen Oaks, Queens, surrendered to DA Investigators this morning and was arraigned by District Court Judge Darlene Harris on a charge of violating Sales and Compensating Use Tax (Section 1817(g) of the Tax Law) (an A misdemeanor) for the tax year of 2011 to 2012 and faces up to a year in prison and a fine of $10,000. The defendant was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on Dec. 1.
King of Sunrise, Inc., located at 700 West Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream, and Maspeth Service Station, Inc., at 6090 Eliot Avenue in Queens, were charged with Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony), which carries a sentence of $250,000 fine for each corporation. Additionally, King of Sunrise was charged with one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 3rd Degree (a D felony) for the tax year of 2011 to 2012 and Maspeth Service Station was charged with one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 2nd Degree (a C felony) for the tax year of 2011 to 2012. The corporations are due back in court on Nov. 24.
The arrest was made after a joint investigation by the NCDA and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSDTF), Queens regional office.
“Sales taxes are used to fund public safety and critical infrastructure projects like paving our roadways,” Acting DA Singas said. “When customers make a purchase and pay those sales taxes, they should be confident that the business is doing the right thing and sending that money to the state which in turn sends part of it back to the counties. At a time when Nassau County needs every penny of its tax revenues, the defendant and his partners were using their gas stations to line their pockets with sales taxes paid by the public.”
Acting DA Singas said that Labib, as the responsible party for King of Sunrise and Maspeth Service Station, underreported sales in tax returns submitted on behalf of the two corporations for fiscal quarters beginning Dec. 1, 2008 through and including Nov. 30, 2012. The NYSDTF assessed both the Corporate Tax filing and the State Tax filings and discovered additional monies that were not accounted for in their quarterly sales tax filings. Both companies are gas stations that have had convenience stores connected to them.
The defendant failed to remit of a total of $197,411.34 of collected sales tax to the State of New York. One half of the sales tax collected at the Valley Stream station belongs to Nassau County and a portion of the NYC sales tax collected at the Maspeth station belongs to New York City.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney April Montgomery of Acting DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau. Labib, King of Sunrise and Maspeth Service Station are represented by Nicholas Kaizer and Elizabeth Kase, Esqs. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.