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NYS Tax Department and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Announce 10-count Indictment against Manhattan CPA Marks seventh tax preparer arrest in fewer than five weeks

For Release: Immediate,

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

Stuart Becker

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced the indictment and arrest of a Manhattan certified public accountant (CPA) for tax evasion.

Stuart Becker, 72, of 90 East End Avenue, was arrested on an indictment filed in New York State Supreme Court in New York County. He was charged with seven counts of criminal tax fraud, one count of grand larceny, and two counts of offering a false instrument for filing. He was released on his own recognizance.

Through his business, Becker CPA LLC—a professional limited liability company located at 420 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan—the defendant withheld payroll taxes from his employees. From 2012 to 2014, he allegedly stole $71,517 in withheld tax—money that was required to be remitted to New York State on behalf of his employees.

In addition, Becker is charged with failing to pay $41,406 in personal income taxes owed for the years 2012 through 2014.

“Theft of withholding taxes is an egregious breach of trust, made even more so in this case because the defendant is an accountant who holds the confidence of his clients,” said New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Jerry Boone. “On behalf of New York taxpayers, we’ll continue to work with District Attorney Vance and other law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute all forms of tax evasion.”

 “Tax fraud has a ripple effect and places strain on the funding of important public programs and services statewide,” said Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. “In this case, the defendant is charged with depriving New York State of funds that could otherwise have been invested in meaningful public projects. As a tax preparer, this defendant should have known better, and I thank our partners at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for ensuring that those responsible for fraud are held accountable.”

If convicted, Becker faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Tax Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case. Becker is scheduled to appear in court again on May 4.

A criminal complaint is an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Report fraud

If you're aware of a tax preparer who has engaged in illegal or improper conduct, contact the NYS Tax Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility at (518) 530-HELP (option #2) or file a tax preparer complaint online. The Tax Department will review your complaint promptly and, if appropriate, take corrective action, which may include sanctions.

Recent tax preparer arrests

Stuart Becker is the seventh tax preparer in less than five weeks arrested by the NYS Tax Department. The Department continues to work with all levels of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute tax fraud and evasion.

 

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