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Posted on: July 26, 2016

Auto Body Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Stealing Nearly $190K in Collected Sales Tax

Douglas Donnelly will make full restitution to State MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Garden City man pleaded guilty Friday to failing to remit New York State sales tax collected from customers of auto body companies with locations in in Mineola and Hempstead. Douglas Donnelly Jr., 51, pleaded guilty to Criminal Tax Fraud in the 5th Degree (an A misdemeanor), while Trinity Auto Body, Inc., pleaded guilty to Criminal Tax Fraud in the 3rd Degree (a D felony) before District Court Judge Erica Prager. The defendant was sentenced on Friday to a conditional discharge and restitution of $188,199.00 to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. “This defendant collected more than $188,000.00 in sales tax revenue from customers and used the money for his own personal purposes.” DA Singas said. “Sales tax revenues pay for critical public services to keep our communities safe and healthy, and my office will prosecute anyone who tries to scam the taxpayers for their own benefit.” DA Singas said that the defendant, as the responsible party for Mineola-Jericho Auto Body Inc., Trinity Auto Body, Ltd., and Trinity’s Mineola Jericho Auto Body Ltd., failed to file New York State tax returns and/or underreported sales tax submitted on behalf of the three corporations for quarters beginning March 1, 2008 through and including February 28, 2014. The NYS Department of Taxation and Finance reviewed extensive records for all three companies and found additional monies that were not accounted for in their quarterly sales tax filings. The NCDA investigation revealed that the three companies and defendant were significantly underreporting gross sales. Donnelly, acting as the responsible party for all three corporations from March 1, 2008 to February 28, 2014, failed to remit a total of $188,198.78 of collected sales tax. Assistant District Attorney Lauren Littman of DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Donnelly is represented by John Powers, Esq.

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