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Suffolk County Businessman Pleads Guilty to Sales Tax Fraud Motor Works Collision & Car Care in Brentwood ordered to pay restitution of $450,567

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced today that a Suffolk County businessman has pleaded guilty to sales tax fraud.

Michael Hall, 58, of 7 Swan Place, Saint James, NY, is the owner of Motor Works Collision & Car Care Center, Inc., located at 1136 Suffolk Ave., Brentwood, NY.  He pleaded guilty before the Honorable Stephen Braslow in Suffolk County Court. 

Hall failed to remit to New York State $176,333 in sales tax he collected from customers on sales totaling $2,317,417. He collected the sales tax between February, 2009 and August, 2011.

Hall pleaded guilty and was ordered by the court to pay not only the sales tax he owed, but also penalty and interest, bringing the total in restitution to $450,567. 

"Collecting tax dollars from a customer, then putting those dollars in your own pocket instead of remitting them to the State, is a serious crime," said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone.  "We will continue to work closely with our local law enforcement partners to create a level playing field for honest business owners, and protect New Yorkers from paying the cost of tax evasion."

The case was investigated by the Tax Department's Criminal Investigations Division and prosecuted by the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.

Each year, New York State businesses collect nearly $25 billion in sales tax from their customers. Businesses transmit the funds to the Tax Department for state programs and distribution to local governments.  The vast majority (96%) of sales tax is remitted voluntarily; the remaining 4% is collected through criminal investigations, audits and collection activities.   

Taxpayers who suspect a business is not remitting sales tax can report tax evasion and fraud online or by calling 518-457-0578. The information is kept confidential.

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