The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced today that Lynn Bijeaux of 18 Miller Heights Road, Middletown, New York pleaded guilty to Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree and Welfare Fraud in the Fourth Degree, both class E felonies, for failing to report income she received from her scrap metal company both to the Department of Taxation and Finance and to the Orange County Department of Social Services. Bijeaux's boyfriend, Joseph Antona, also of 18 Miller Heights Road, Middletown, New York, was arrested on four felony charges pertaining to his failure to file New York State personal income tax returns.
Bijeaux was the owner of Lynn Bijeaux Transport, LLC, a scrap metal company that she operated from her residence. According to a felony complaint filed in the Town of Wallkill Justice Court, Bijeaux received over $20,000 in Medicaid payments by concealing from the Orange County Department of Social Services her ownership interest in Bijeaux Transport, LLC, and the income that she derived from that company. It was only by concealing her income that Bijeaux was deemed eligible for the Medicaid payments she received.
The complaint also alleges that Bijeaux failed to file New York State personal income tax returns for 2008 and 2009, and that her New York State personal income tax liability for those years were collectively in excess of $20,000. Bijeaux admitted the theft of the Medicaid payments and to intentional tax evasion when she pleaded guilty to two felony charges on September 20, 2011 in Orange County Court.
On July 16, 2011, investigators from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Orange County Sheriff's Office jointly executed a search warrant at Lynn Bijeaux's residence and recovered documents pertaining to her business. According to the felony complaints, those documents as well as others received from the Orange County Department of Social Services show that in 2008 and 2009 Bijeaux Transport, LLC had received payments of over $374,000.
Joseph Antona, who represented himself as being the president and general manager of Bijeaux Transport, LLC, failed to file New York State personal income tax returns for tax years 2008, 2009, and 2010. Antona was charged with Repeated Failure to File Personal Income Tax Returns, a class E felony, and three counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, class E felonies and was arraigned in the Town of New Windsor Justice Court on September 20, 2011. He is next scheduled to be in court on September 27th. Antona faces up to three years in prison if convicted of the charges.
Lynn Bijeaux is scheduled to be sentenced on November 15th, 2011 in County Court, and faces up to three years in prison.
Tax Department Commissioner Mattox thanked the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the Orange County Department of Social Services, and the Office of Medicaid Fraud Special Prosecutor for their work on this joint investigation. He said the charges in this case should remind taxpayers that if they have not filed New York State personal income tax returns, they are urged to enter the State's Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program to correct past returns and avoid both civil and criminal penalties. Information on the program is available on the Department's website.
Commissioner Mattox also commended Orange County District Attorney Francis D. Phillips, II and Assistant District Attorney Karen Edelman-Reyes for their aggressive prosecution of this case.
Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.