A Lloyd Harbor man who manages a Uniondale car dealership was arraigned Wednesday on tax evasion charges, accused of withholding almost $160,000 in sales taxes over four years, Nassau prosecutors said.
Evans Raphael, 40, was arraigned before District Court Judge William Hohauser in First District Court in Hempstead on charges of second-degree grand larceny, four counts of third-degree criminal tax fraud and three counts of fifth-degree criminal tax fraud.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said Raphael failed to pay $159,063.38 in taxes on sales made at Uniondale Auto Mall at 581 Nassau Rd. between January 2010 and December 2013. The company itself faces the same charges.
Raphael was released on his own recognizance and is due in court Friday. His attorney, Stuart Kanoff of Hempstead, could not be reached for comment. Assistant District Attorney Connie Gentile of the Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case.
The grand larceny charge is punishable by up to 7½ to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or double the gain from the crime, for a total of $318,126.76, prosecutors said.
“Businesses that pocket sales tax are stealing from our county and our state,” Singas said in a news release announcing the arrest and arraignment. “When customers pay sales taxes they must be sure that the money is going to provide vital government services. I thank our partners at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for assisting us with this investigation.”
Proceeds from sales taxes on cars are split between the state and county where the vehicles are to be registered, authorities said, adding that “Uniondale Auto Mall serviced primarily Nassau residents but had Suffolk and New York City customers as well.”
Prosecutors said that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance “reviewed extensive records of the company and discovered that although there were significant sales totaling nearly $2 million during this four year period and significant sales tax collected on those sales, zero sales were reported to the [Internal Revenue Service].”