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Owner of a Rome Auto Sales Business Sentenced for Tax Evasion Court orders defendant to pay restitution of more than $70,000

For Release: Immediate,

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

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced that the owner and operator of an auto sales business located in Rome was sentenced for sales tax fraud.

Ricky J. Hoke, 61, of 4817 Humaston Road, also in Rome, was arraigned in Oneida County Court in January and pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal tax fraud, a felony.

Hoke was charged with underreporting sales taxes he collected from customers at his business, Hoke Auto Sales, at 930 Erie Boulevard West. From December 2010 through August 2015, he collected $70,732 in sales tax, but failed to remit that amount to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance as required by law. As part of his sentence, he was ordered by the Court to pay the full amount to NYS and serve five years on probation.

“When merchants collect tax on automobile sales from customers and fail to remit the tax, they’re stealing from the state and the local communities that depend on the sales tax revenue to fund critical public programs and services,” said Acting Tax Commissioner Nonie Manion. “We thank the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”

For more about motor vehicle-related sales tax obligations, see the NYS Tax Department’s Automobile dealers webpage.

New Yorkers aware of sales tax evasion or fraud can anonymously report it online or by calling 518-457-0578. The Tax Department takes this type of illegal activity seriously, promptly reviews each complaint, and takes corrective action when appropriate.

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