By Scott Sieber
Jeffrey C. Rosner operated two accounting firms with offices in the Empire State Building, Rosner & Cohen, Empire 4912, Inc., and EXTC Inc. with his partner David E. Cohen in Manhattan.The pair took on a vast clientele of doctors, nurses, jewelers and small businessmen from across all five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey and other states, authorities said, and evaded millions of dollars of taxes on their behalf, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.Prosecutors were investigating an unrelated case against one of the defendants' clients when information on the tax evasions were revealed, officials said.Authorities obtained a search warrant and searched the Empire State Building offices, Rosner's Flushing home and Cohen's home on Staten Island on June 2, 2004.In all, Morgenthau said the defendants filed false personal income tax returns for themselves and their wives for five years, beginning in 1999.According to Morgenthau, Rosner accrued a total of $225,000 in tax liabilities owed to the state and city, excluding penalties and interest, while Cohen owed about $100,000.Both men were also charged with preparing false tax returns for hundreds of clients, Morgenthau said. The schemes involved filing for a number of false claims, including fake business losses and depreciation of non-existent equipment, authorities said.The pair also allegedly faked contributions to charity, officials said.To avoid detection, Rosner and Cohen would change corporate names every few years, Morgenthau said. Two clients have already pleaded guilty to participating in the schemes and he expects others to follow suit.The city Department of Finance expects to recover at least $7.5 million in wayward taxes if Rosner and Cohen are convicted, Morgenthau said.The pair were hit with several charges, including grand larceny, scheme to defraud and tax evasion and face up to 15 years in prison, if convicted.A spokeswoman for Morgenthau's office said Cohen, of Long Island, was a fugitive because he could not be found.She said anyone affiliated with Rosner and Cohen should call prosecutor Gilda Mariani at 212-335-9143, or the tax fraud hotline at 718-403-4310.Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.