Manager Evans Raphael arrested and Corporation charged
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that the manager of Uniondale Auto Mall was arrested today by DA Investigators for failing to pay nearly $160,000 of sale tax collected between 2010 and 2013.
Evans Raphael, 40, of Lloyd Harbor, was arraigned today before District Court Judge William Hohauser on charges of Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony), four counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 3rd Degree (a D felony) and three counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 5th Degree (an A misdemeanor).
Uniondale Auto Mall, Inc., was arraigned on the same charges. Raphael and the corporation are due back in court on April 15. Raphael was released on his own recognizance. If convicted of the top charge, Raphael faces up to 7-1/2 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or double the gain from the alleged crime, for a total of $318,126.76 in this case. The dealership and the defendant are both liable for the money and any disposition will include full restitution to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSDTF), which partnered in the investigation.
“Businesses that pocket sales tax are stealing from our county and our state,” DA Singas said. “When customers pay sales taxes they must be sure that the money is going to provide vital government services. I thank our partners at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for assisting us with this investigation.”
DA Singas said that customers of Uniondale Auto Mall were charged sales tax on their vehicle purchases between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2013. That money, calculated to be $159,063.38, was allegedly kept by the corporation rather than remitted to New York State. Half of the sales tax collected belongs to Nassau County and lesser percentages of the sales tax collected belong to Suffolk County and New York City. Sales tax on automobiles in New York State is payable to the county where that automobile is to be registered; Uniondale Auto Mall serviced primarily Nassau residents but had Suffolk and New York City customers as well.
As the individual who ran the daily operations of Uniondale Auto Mall, Raphael allegedly collected but failed to file any quarterly New York State sales tax returns for each of the 16 quarters from Jan. 1, 2010 through and including November 30, 2013. The NYSDTF reviewed extensive records of the company and discovered that although there were significant sales totaling nearly $2 million during this four year period and significant sales tax collected on those sales, zero sales were reported to the IRS.
Assistant District Attorney Connie Gentile of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Raphael and Uniondale Auto Mall are represented by Stuart Kannoff, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.