Sales tax cheaters in New York continue to face criminal prosecution from the combined efforts of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and prosecutors offices statewide. The usual scenario is a restaurant or bar that charges sales tax to customers, collects the sales tax, but fails to pay over these taxes to the state. Simply stated, this is a theft. People who steal need criminal defense attorneys to represent them because New York, like other states, does not take kindly to having business owners steal taxes and sees to it that such people are prosecuted as a Brooklyn business owner recently learned. A Brooklyn corporation and its owner pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court to having stolen $200,000 in sales taxes from the state by collecting sales taxes from the customers of a now closed restaurant known as reBar and pocketing the money. They also pleaded guilty to failing to collect $1.2 million dollars in sales tax during a three year period ending in 2012. The defendants pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the second degree § 155.40 Grand larceny in the second degree. A person is guilty of grand larceny in the second degree when he steals property and when: 1. The value of the property exceeds fifty thousand dollars; Grand larceny in the second degree is a class C felony. Kings County District Attorney Thompson said, “When consumers pay sales tax they expect those funds to go into the public treasury. The state is dependent upon the collection of taxes to operate its government. Greedy business owners who illegally pocket sales taxes or fail to charge tax in exchange for a cash deal are in fact cheating all New Yorkers.”.” The 41 year old restaurant owner is expected to be sentenced to three and a third to ten years in state prison upon being sentenced in July. New York state means business when it prosecutes sales tax offenders. Getting an attorney involved early in the process is critical to the defense. Greenspan & Greenspan P.C. represents clients facing such charges. Please call us if you or your business faces a sales tax investigation.