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Say Auto Shop Owner Stiffed State

Glendale Biz Allegedly Pocketed Sales Tax Revenue

Law enforcement agents towed a Glendale auto body shop owner to court last week on charges that he allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales tax revenue, it was announced.

Alfred D’Andrea, 45, of 88th Street in Howard Beach, who serves as president of Triangle Auto Body located at 57-11 79th Ave. in Glendale, is accused of underreporting more than $1.2 million in taxable income for repairs made over a three-year period.

D’Andrea appeared in Queens Criminal Court last Tuesday, Oct. 21, and was arraigned on charges of second- and third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal tax fraud, first-degree falsifying business records, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and second-degree scheme to defraud.

Judge Gia Morris, who presided over the arraignment released D’Andrea without bail and ordered him to return to court on Dec. 8. If convicted, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown stated, D’Andrea faces up to 15 years in prison-and his company may be hit with a fine of up to $10,000 or twice the illegal gain, whichever is greater.

“Tax fraud doesn’t just cheat the city and state out of muchneeded revenue,” Brown said in a statement last Wednesday, “it makes every New Yorker a victim by denying funding for essential public services.”

“If these charges are true, it means [D’Andrea] willfully chose to steal taxes paid by customers-a crime that cannot be tolerated,” added State Taxation Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox.

Between March 2008 and February 2011, authorities stated, Triangle Auto Body received a combined $1,918,000 in funds from insurers such as GEICO, State Farm, Allstate and One Beacon in claims for repairs performed on behalf of clients.

However, in tax forms filed with the state, D’Andrea reportedly indicated just $664,235 in taxable repairs were made. All vehicle repairs are subject to city and state taxes.

Prosecutors determined D’Andrea allegedly cheated the city and state out of more than $108,000 in tax revenue.

Investigators with the Taxation Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, along with members of the Queens District Attorney’s Crimes Against Revenue Unit, conducted the investigation, with the assistance of Sgt. Elizabeth A. Curcio and Detectives Jeffrey A. Boyce, Joseph Brancaccio, John J. Keeley, David Matos and John R. Warner of the DA’s Detective Bureau.

Also assisting in the probe were the DA’s Chief Forensic Accountant, James Dever, staff accountants John M. Murphy and Joseph Plonski and financial analysts Andrew W. Risi and Stephen H. Panattieri.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael-Sean Spense under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys, Andrew H. Kaufman, Crimes Against Revenue Unit chief; Anthony M. Communiello, Special Proceedings Bureau chief; and Oscar W. Ruiz, Special Proceedings Bureau deputy chief.

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