The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced the arrest of James C. Hall, a former Rochester police officer, on several felony charges in connection with his theft of more than $240,000 in sales tax.
Hall, 46, of 505 Ontario Drive, in the town of Ontario, is charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Second Degree, also a class C felony, and ten counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, class E felonies, for underreporting over $2.3 million in taxable sales at his restaurant, Union Hill Pizza and Subs, which was renamed the Union Hill Country Grill. The restaurant, which was located at 1891 Ridge Road in Webster, is now closed.
Hall was arraigned before Judge Thomas J. DiSalvo in Webster Town Court on charges for stealing more than $240,000 in sales tax over a five year period. He entered a plea of not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on February 2.
If convicted, Hall could face up to five years in prison for each C felony charge.
Hall is accused of underreporting the taxable sales, and the tax due to the state, between September 1, 2005 and February 29, 2008, the date when he stopped filing returns despite being open for business.
After he was contacted by the Tax Department in July of 2009, Hall filed all five delinquent returns, but it was determined that he underreported the sales and sales tax due. Once again, Hall again stopped filing sales tax returns until he was contacted by Tax Department personnel a year later. Shortly after that, Hall filed the delinquent returns, which showed the collection of more than $59,000 in sales tax. However, no payment was made with these returns.
The State offers programs such as the Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program to encourage delinquent taxpayers to become compliant without facing criminal prosecution or civil penalty. For more information about these programs, go to the Department's website at www.tax.ny.gov.
The Tax Department also thanked Monroe County District Attorney Michael C. Green and his staff for their aggressive prosecution of this case.
The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.