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Buffalo Man Guilty of Sales Tax Theft


The Department of Taxation and Finance issued a press release Monday regarding a Buffalo man and the theft of nearly $40,000 in New York State sales tax.

Leonard Johnson pled guilty to charges of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony. Between 2009 and 2011, he filed tax returns with total sales tax payments of $8,719. As the press release notes, "This was substantially less than the $48,301 he actually collected during these years and owed the state."

While Thomas H. Mattox, Commissioner of Taxation and Finance, acknowledged that the "vast majority of individuals and businesses voluntarily pay the appropriate amount of any taxes due," he knows some people "chose to ignore the law." The commissioner vowed that local law enforcement would "aggressively pursue … tax evaders."

Mr. Johnson faces up to seven years in prison for his crime. Sentencing is scheduled for February 27, 2013.

photo credit: neal..patel via photopin cc

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.