District Attorney

Posted on: April 13, 2016

Former Local Political Party Chairman Arrested on Tax Fraud Charge

Gerard Terry

Gerard Terry, 61, charged with failing to file return in 2010

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said that a former Democratic Party official who had earned money from numerous local government contracts was arrested today for failing to file and pay New York State personal income taxes for tax year 2010. The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSDTF).

Gerard Terry, 61, of Roslyn Heights, surrendered to DA Investigators this morning and was charged with one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 3rd Degree (a D felony). Terry was released on his own recognizance by Nassau County District Court Judge Darlene Harris. The conditions of his release include the surrender of his passport and not traveling outside New York State. He is due back in court on April 26. If convicted, Terry faces a possible maximum sentence of 2-1/3 to seven years in prison.

"Cheating on taxes is always wrong, but it's especially egregious when much of the undeclared income was paid from taxpayer-funded government accounts," DA Singas said. "These allegations underscore the need for robust vetting practices at every level of government to ensure that taxpayers hire only those fit for public service. I thank the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for its assistance with this investigation.”

DA Singas said that her office’s investigation began in January, when Terry, in a statement to the media, made a public comment that he has failed to pay “some one million plus dollars, which has accumulated over more than a decade” to the IRS and that he “need[s] to tackle [his] New York state arrears.” The investigation showed that, based on income records and tax warrants, Terry has allegedly earned an average annual income of $200,000 to $300,000 since 2000 and has regularly failed to voluntarily pay New York State personal income taxes since then. He is currently charged for failure to file a New York State personal income tax return for the tax year 2010, in which he had an income in excess of $250,000 and a State tax liability of $13,000.

Records show that at the end of 2011, despite communications from the Internal Revenue Service about his non-filing and delinquency for tax years 2009 and 2010, Terry allegedly still had not filed federal or state personal income tax returns or paid any of the taxes due.

Until January, Terry was the Democratic Party Chairman of the Town of North Hempstead. Terry also had several paid positions with various governmental entities. Terry has held positions with the Nassau County Board of Elections since 1998 with his most recent position being that of Assistant Counsel. Terry also entered into contracts with the Town of North Hempstead since 2004 to serve as counsel in various capacities, including Town Attorney, and counsel to the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Housing Authority.

Terry also entered into agreements appointing him as legal counsel for the Roosevelt Public Library (in 2005), the Freeport Community Development Agency (in 2011) and the Long Beach Housing Authority (for two years starting in 2014).

Since Terry’s public tax declaration in January, he has either been removed or stepped down from all of the aforementioned positions. He was also the attorney for the Village of Manorhaven until 2012.

The NCDA investigation into additional tax crimes or tax-related crimes possibly committed by Terry is ongoing.

Cases of failure to file annual New York State personal income tax returns where there is an outstanding unpaid tax liability have been investigated and prosecuted by the NCDA’s Office for the last decade. Working jointly with NYSDTF, the NCDA’s Office has investigated and prosecuted attorneys and other professionals, as well as businesspeople, for non-filing tax crimes.

More tax-related arrests, for cases independent of Terry, are expected this week.

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Diane Peress and ADA Lauren Littman of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau and Deputy Chief Christine Maloney of DA Singas’ Public Corruption Bureau. Terry is represented by Peter Tomao, Esq.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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