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Department of Taxation and Finance

Syracuse Cycle Shop Owner Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud Defendant failed to remit $37K in sales tax collected

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 a Syracuse businessman has been sentenced to a prison term of three to six years for failing to pay New York State the sales tax he collected from customers.
Robert Woodward, 45, of 4510 Quamby Rd., Clay, NY, pleaded guilty to 2nd degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and 3rd degree criminal tax fraud, both felonies. He was sentenced on February 8 in Onondaga County Court.

"Business owners who disregard their obligations to collect and remit sales tax violate the trust of their customers, deprive the communities where they operate of revenue needed for vital services, and put similar businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “I thank the Onondaga County District Attorney's office for prosecuting this case.” 

Woodward was the owner of Rob's Cycle Supply, Inc., 613 Wolf Street, Syracuse, NY. He was charged with collecting $37,323 in sales tax from customers between March 2012 and August 2013, that he failed to remit to the New York State Tax Department as required by law.

The defendant also tried to pay several tax assessments, including the sales tax owed, with a forged check. However, since his guilty plea, Woodward has made a partial payment for his combined tax liabilities.

The case was prosecuted by the Onondaga County District Attorney's office.

In New York State, 96% of taxes are paid by businesses and individuals who voluntarily meet their tax responsibilities. The remaining 4% is collected through the Tax Department's audit, collections, and criminal investigation programs. Through its enforcement programs, the Tax Department ensures fair tax administration for all New Yorkers.

Report fraud
You can report tax evasion and fraud online at the Tax Department's website or by calling 518-457-0578. The information is kept confidential.