Joseph Rosmaninho and Paul Batista face up to 15 years’ incarceration if convicted
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrests of the current and former owner of Churrasqueira Brasa Rodizio in Mineola for allegedly failing to pay more than $330,000 in sales tax to the New York State Department of Taxation for four years.
Former co-owner Paul Batista, 44, of North Carolina, was arraigned yesterday before District Court Judge Scott Siller, released on his own recognizance and ordered to surrender his passport. He is due back in court on June 8.
Current owner Joseph Rosmaninho, 42, of Smithtown, was arraigned Wednesday before District Court Judge Scott Siller, released on his own recognizance and ordered to surrender his passport. He is due back in court on June 7.
Both defendants have been charged with:
- Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony)
- Three counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 2nd Degree (a C felony)
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the 3rd Degree (a D felony)
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the 5th Degree (an A misdemeanor)
If convicted on the top count, the defendants face a maximum of 15 years’ incarceration.
“These defendants allegedly pocketed sales tax money that should have gone towards vital government services like fixing our roads and funding youth services,” DA Singas said. “Most New Yorkers meet their tax obligations, but some cheat the system and create a burden for everyone else. I thank the State Department of Taxation and Finance and our prosecutors for their work on this case.”
“Instead of sending the sales tax collected from customers to New York State, which is required by law, the defendants are accused of using it for their own personal gain,” said New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “Our agency will continue to vigorously investigate anyone who appears to violate our sales tax laws, and we thank the Nassau County District Attorney for handling this case.”
DA Singas said the defendants, while co-owners of Churrasqueira Brasa Rodizio, a Portuguese restaurant, located at 100 Herricks Road in Mineola, allegedly underreported sales tax collected from customers to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance from September 1, 2011, through December 10, 2015. During that time PBJ Rodizio Inc., doing business as Churrasqueira Brasa Rodizio, allegedly failed to remit $333,794.89 of collected sales tax.
Rosmaninho acquired Batista’s share of the business during the summer of 2016 and is the current owner of the restaurant.
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance reviewed the restaurant’s records and commenced a criminal investigation in October 2015 after it was discovered that the restaurant allegedly underreported taxable sales every quarter that they filed their sales tax returns. The NYS Department of Finance brought the case to the NCDA for prosecution in December 2016.
Sales tax is required to be collected from customers by business owners. The business owners are required to remit the sales tax money to New York State. One half of the sales tax collected in Nassau County belongs to New York State and the other half belongs to the county.
Batista surrendered to NCDA detective investigators Thursday morning, while Rosmaninho surrendered Wednesday.
Assistant District Attorney Heidi Bausk of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Rosmaninho is represented by E. David Woycik Jr., Esq. and Batitsta is represented by Louis Martins, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.