A New Hyde Park couple has been charged with tax fraud, grand larceny and illegally collecting sales tax at their Queens gas station, state officials said Thursday.
Police arrested Rajpatee Rampersaud, 45, and Naren Rampersaud, 52, at their home on Tuesday after the couple was found to be collecting sales tax at their Bayside Citgo station at 34-51 Bell Blvd. without a valid certificate of authority to collect taxes and pocketing $166,810 in state money, according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance.
A certificate of authority from the state tax department is required to charge sales tax.
Officials said the couple received the money from combined cigarette, sales, withholding and corporate taxes between September 2009 and May 2014, according to a news release. They also did not have a license to sell cigarettes, officials said.
"The city and state rely on collected taxes to fund programs and services for the public," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, who will prosecute the case, said in a statement. "Stealing tax revenue is a crime and makes every New Yorker a victim."
The Rampersauds were released on their own recognizance Wednesday, a spokesman from the Queens district attorney's office said, and they are scheduled to appear in Queens Criminal Court on Sept. 22. They face up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
The couple could not be reached for comment. Calls to a phone number listed for their business were not answered.