By Sadef Ali Kully
A used car salesman who operated two businesses in Jamaica has been charged with tax fraud with the state and city out of nearly $500,000 in collected sales taxes over a five-year period, the Queens district attorney said.
“The defendant is alleged to have pocketed the tax money he collected that was owed to the state and city,” said Richard Brown, Queens DA. “Two other defendants, previously charged with defrauding the state out of collected sales taxes, have admitted their guilt and are making restitution. Tax revenue helps the government function and is vitally important. Our tax dollars provide funding for programs and services. When this money is not remitted, every New Yorker is a victim.”
Farzin Pourad, 48, from Great Neck, L.I., operated Pick A Car, Inc., a used car sales business, located at 187-17 Jamaica Avenue. He also previously operated Road Masters LeasingCorp., another used car sales business located at the same address.
Pourad was arraigned on charges of grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, offering a false instrument for filing and scheme to defraud April 13 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Elisa Koenderman, the DA said.
According to the criminal complaint filed by the DA, between Sept. 1, 2009, and Nov. 30, 2014, Pourad reported on tax returns that the two businesses made $7.1 million in auto sales. But a forensic analysis of his sales is alleged to have shown that he under-reported his sales and actually made $11.8 million. Pourad did remit almost $633,000 in sales taxes, but owed just over $1.03 million, the complaint said. The state did not receive $202,950 owed and the city was due an additional $198,083, the DA’s office said.
Pourad was released on his own recognizance and his next court date is April 30. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
Two others, who faced similar charges, pleaded guilty recently, Queens DA noted.
Alfred D’Andrea, 46, from Howard Beach, was arrested in 2014 following a forensic examination of his tax filings for the Triangle Auto Body shop he operated in Ridgewood. D’Andrea under reported more than $1 million in auto repairs, prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty April 1 to grand larceny and petit larceny. D’Andrea agreed to pay restitution of $500,026 by Aug. 26 when he is scheduled to be sentenced. D’Andrea, who has already paid $180,000, is facing up to 15 years in prison if he does not make full restitution.
Rafael Dominguez, 38, from Flushing was arrested in October 2014 following the seizure of 686,000 untaxed cigarettes, the DA said. If sold legally, the cigarettes would have generated approximately $250,000 in tax revenue for the state and city. Dominguez pleaded guilty to a tax law felony March 31 and was sentenced to a conditional discharge in which he agreed to forfeit the funds seized from him at the time of his arrest, according to Brown.
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