MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a former Democratic Party official, who had earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from local government contracts, was arraigned today on grand jury charges for failing to file New York State tax returns and failing to pay New York State personal income taxes for 2010 and 2015. He was also charged with additional crimes related to tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Gerard Terry, 62, of Roslyn Heights was arraigned today before Acting Supreme Court Justice David Sullivan on an indictment charging two counts of criminal tax fraud in the third degree (a D felony). The defendant was released on his own recognizance in that case.
Following the arraignment, Terry was arrested and charged in a felony complaint with three counts of criminal tax fraud in the third degree for allegedly omitting earned income in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and three counts of offering a false instrument for filing (an E felony). The defendant was arraigned before District Court Judge Joy Watson and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on both cases on September 27.
The defendant faces up to 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison if convicted on the top count.
“This defendant has made hundreds of thousands of dollars from taxpayer-funded government contracts, yet despite his very public commitment to file and pay required taxes, he has allegedly continued to shirk his state tax obligations,” DA Singas said. “Income taxes fund critical government programs and services for which we must all pay our fair share. I thank the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for its assistance with this investigation.”
DA Singas said that the investigation into Terry’s tax returns began in January, when the defendant, in a statement to the media, said 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 NCDA investigation found 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.
Additionally, the investigation showed that despite his public statement and April 2016 arrest, the defendant failed to file a 2015 NYS income tax return or request an extension on or before April 18, 2016, the deadline for tax year 2015 filing. New York State taxpayers who are unable to file tax returns and pay income taxes due also have the option of filing a request for an extension with a payment on or before the deadline. Terry allegedly did neither.
After he became aware of federal and state investigations, the defendant filed some New York State personal income tax returns for the period of 2000-2015, but has never remitted the payments due for any of those returns. In addition to involuntary garnishments of his wages and income taxes automatically withheld from his Nassau County Board of Elections salary, the current amount of state income tax owed, without penalties and interest, is more than $100,000.
The continuing investigation also uncovered evidence that Terry failed to report thousands of dollars of income on the New York State income tax returns which tax preparers filed on his behalf for tax years 2013, 2014, and 2015. As a result, the income reported on those returns is understated and thereby false. This omission also affects the amount of tax liability actually due.
Until January, Terry was the Democratic Party Chairman of the Town of North Hempstead. Terry also had 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 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 (2005), the Freeport Community Development Agency (2011) and the Long Beach Housing Authority (for two years starting in 2014) and Hempstead Housing Authority. He was also the attorney for the Village of Manorhaven until 2012.
The investigation was conducted jointly with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
The case is being prosecuted by Chief Diane Peress of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau and Deputy Chief Christine Maloney of DA Singas’ Public Corruption Bureau. Terry is represented by Steven Scaring, Esq.
These charges are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.