Long Island Business Owners Sentenced for Tax Theft in Lease Scheme

Two Long Island business owners were sentenced in late June after pleading guilty to grand larceny for stealing tax money from New York State, Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said. Brian Soltan, 62, of West Islip, owner of several East Islip auto body businesses, and Gerald McCrystal, 51, of Dix Hills, owner of Farmingdale-based furniture stores, were each sentenced after pleading guilty to grand larceny on separate cases for stealing sales tax money from New York State, the DA said.

Details of the Offenses

According to the investigation and Soltan’s admissions during his guilty plea, between January 2011 to November 2015, he failed to report around $2,817,951 in taxable sales from several businesses he owned in East Islip, resulting in $244,799 in stolen sales taxes. The businesses Soltan stole tax sales from include Long Island Auto Body, Inc., Long Island Auto Collision, Inc., Long Island Towing & Auto Body, Inc., Long Island Towing & Collision, Inc., East Islip’s Auto Collision, Inc., East Islip Collision, Inc., and High End Collision, Inc., the DA said.

Meanwhile, court documents in McCrystal’s case and admissions during his guilty plea revealed that from February 2008 to November 2015, he failed to report $8,979,157 in taxable sales from his Farmingdale-based businesses, including Levetz, Inc., Roma Fli Corporation, and Roma New York, Inc., resulting in $744,865 in stolen sales taxes. According to Tierney, both men admitted to intentionally failing to remit funds collected on behalf of New York State.

Sentencing and Restitution

On September 18, 2019, Soltan pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony before Acting Supreme Court Justice Stephen Braslow. As a condition of his plea, he was required to pay $250,000 in restitution before his sentencing on June 26. Also on June 26, McCrystal pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony, before Justice Braslow and was sentenced immediately. As a condition of his plea, he was required to pay $745,000 in restitution.

“The deliberate theft of tax dollars is a serious offense that undermines the integrity of our tax system and places an unfair burden on law-abiding citizens and businesses. Both defendants collected sales tax from customers, fraudulently underreported taxable sales on dozens of returns, and then failed remit that money to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance,” said Tierney. “These cases serve as clear reminders that tax fraud will not be tolerated, and those who attempt to cheat the system will be held accountable for their actions.”

Soltan was represented by attorney Robert Macedonio. McCrystal was represented by Matthew Rosenblum. The attorneys were not immediately available for comment.

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Who were the Long Island business owners sentenced for stealing NY tax money?

Long Island business owners Michael and Melissa Monegro were sentenced for stealing New York tax money. They operated a construction firm and were found guilty of underreporting income and failing to remit sales taxes, defrauding the state of significant revenue.

Can business owners really avoid consequences for stealing tax money in New York State?

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