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Department of Taxation and Finance

Buffalo Business Owner to Pay More than $210,000 in Sales Tax Case He paid more than $41,300 in criminal restitution on April 25 as part of plea deal

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 Rashard Davis, 39, of 1256 Fillmore Ave, Buffalo, paid criminal restitution of $41,393 as part of a plea deal in Erie County Court on April 25, and agreed he owed an additional total tax liability of more than $168,600, including all penalties and interest. 

Under the agreement, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of criminal tax fraud. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in Erie County Court on July 8, 2019. 

Davis faced felony charges stemming from his failure to remit more than $41,393 in sales tax collected in the operation of five businesses, including car dealerships and repair stations, from 2012-2016. He used family members and acquaintances in an attempt to hide his ownership of the businesses.

New York State Tax Department Criminal Investigations Division investigators executed search warrants at his businesses and residence on February 16, 2017. 

“Those who try to dodge their obligation to collect and remit sales tax violate the trust of their customers, deprive communities where they operate of revenue for vital services, and put similar businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said John Harford, who leads the New York State Tax Department’s Criminal Investigations Division. “We will continue to work with all our law enforcement partners on these cases, and thank the Erie County District Attorney for prosecuting this one.”

If you suspect someone is committing tax evasion or fraud, report it to the New York State Tax Department. It’s easy and confidential. Learn more at the department’s Report tax evasion and fraud webpage.