Skip to main content
Department of Taxation and Finance

Utica Liquor Store Owner Sentenced for Sales Tax Evasion Sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay restitution

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 of a Utica liquor store has been sentenced for sales tax evasion.

Manuel D. Mendez, 61, of 202 King Street, Utica, is the owner of James Street Liquor, located at 208 James Street. He was charged in April with filing false sales tax returns. He was also charged with failing to remit to NYS the more than $70,000 in sales tax he collected from his customers from 2012 through 2015.

Mendez pleaded guilty in Oneida County Court to third-degree criminal tax fraud. He was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay the Tax Department restitution of $58,397. He paid $12,000 in restitution at the time of his plea.

“Sales tax evasion is a serious crime, one that puts honest businesses at a disadvantage and deprives communities and New York State the revenue needed for vital services,” said Acting Tax Commissioner Nonie Manion. “We thank the Oneida County District Attorney for prosecuting this case.”

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