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Wednesday, 22 April 2015 00:00

Long Island, NY Multi-Shop Owner Arrested for Stealing Nearly $190K in Sales Taxes

The owner of three body shops in Garden City, NY has been arrested for failing to remit sales taxes to New York State by underreporting sales in tax returns submitted on behalf of his businesses.Douglas Donnelly, 50, was arrested and arraigned on April 9 before Nassau District Court Judge Darlene Harris on the following charges:

  • Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony)
  • Four counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the 1st Degree (an E felony)
  • Three counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 3rd Degree (a D felony)

Three shops for which Donnelly was the responsible party – Mineola-Jericho Auto Body, Inc.; Trinity Auto Body, Ltd.; and Trinity’s Mineola Jericho Auto Body Ltd. – also face larceny and felony criminal tax fraud charges.

Judge Harris released the defendant on his own recognizance. If convicted of the top charge, Donnelly faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.

“Customers who pay sales tax to businesses should be sure that the money they are spending is going towards vital government services and not in the business owner’s pocket,” Acting DA Singas said. “Businesses that don’t remit sales tax money are stealing from the state, the county and their customers."

Acting DA Singas said that Donnelly, 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 in tax returns submitted on behalf of the three corporations from March 1, 2008 to Feb. 28, 2014.

The NYS Department of Taxation and Finance reviewed extensive records for all three shops and found additional money that were not accounted for in their quarterly sales tax filings. The agency also found quarters for which tax returns were never filed.

DA investigators subsequently confirmed that gross sales were significantly underreporting.

Donnelly failed to remit a total of $188,198.93 of collected sales tax.

He was due back in court on April 16. Autobody News will be following the case.

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