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Department of Taxation and Finance

New Jersey Businessman Pleads Guilty to Stealing NYS Sales Tax American Car Lift agrees to pay restitution of $611,000 compounded from original outstanding debt of $153,000, admits to criminal tax fraud and grand larceny

For Release: Immediate,

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

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, along with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, today announced that the owner of a New Jersey business has pleaded guilty to grand larceny and criminal tax fraud.

George Wilkinson, 39, of 145 Winding Hill Drive, Hackettstown, NJ, is the owner of American Car Lift, LLC, located in Landing. His business installs and maintains vehicle lifts in parking garages in New York City and also in New Jersey.

He was charged with second-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal tax fraud, both felonies. It was alleged at the time of his arrest that he failed to file sales tax returns and remit to New York State $153,000 in sales tax collected from December 2011 to May 2015.

Following his guilty plea, the defendant was sentenced on January 25, 2017, to nine weekends in jail and given a five-year conditional discharge. Wilkinson also signed an agreement to pay New York State restitution of $611,000, which includes taxes owed plus penalty and interest compounded from $153,000 over a three and a half year period.

“Those who fail to remit the sales tax they collect from customers are blatantly stealing from NYS communities while putting honest business competitors at a disadvantage,” said NYS Acting Tax Department Commissioner Nonie Manion. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to prosecute offenders.”

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said, “George Wilkinson defrauded his customers and all New York taxpayers out of more than $150,000 in sales tax revenue. I thank my Office’s prosecutors for ensuring this defendant is held accountable for this theft and our partners at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their assistance with this investigation.”

The case was investigated by the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division and prosecuted by the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

Report fraud

Taxpayers who suspect a business is not remitting sales tax can confidentially report tax evasion and fraud online or by phone at 518-457-0578. The Tax Department will investigate the complaint and take appropriate action, which may include criminal prosecution.

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