One of the six men under indictment for illegal dumping in and around Islip Town was taken into custody Tuesday morning on tax evasion charges after a scheduled court appearance on the environmental accusations.
Christopher Grabe, of Islandia Recycling, is expected to be arraigned in Suffolk County criminal court in Central Islip Wednesday morning on charges of failing to file true state income taxes, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Grabe, 37, is accused of evading nearly $30,000 in income taxes to New York State, according to the district attorney's office. He will be arraigned on four felony counts: two D-class felonies of criminal tax fraud in the third degree; one E-class felony of criminal tax fraud in the fourth degree; and one E-class felony of offering a false instrument in the first degree for filing, according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint states that Grabe "with intent to evade payment of personal income tax . . . concealed and failed to report his true earnings" to the state for tax years 2011, 2012 and 2013.
In 2012, Grabe allegedly filed a state resident income tax return "which contained false information as to the total 'adjusted gross income' earned," the criminal complaint states, resulting in a "substantial understatement of income. "
From 2011 through 2013, Grabe failed to report about $476,281 of income to New York State, resulting in evasion of $28,922 in income taxes, according to the district attorney's office.
Grabe was handcuffed behind his back as he was led out of the criminal courthouse in Central Islip by two undercover officers around 11:30 a.m. When approached by a reporter, Grabe, who was put into the backseat of an unmarked SUV, declined to comment.
His attorney, Matt Tuohy, said Spota's office has been "aggressive" in the dumping case, and that prosecutors began looking into Grabe's financial records during that investigation, but his client "maintains his innocence 100 percent."
He said Grabe will plead not guilty to the new charges at arraignment Wednesday. "He believes these are collateral issues he's taken care of," Tuohy said. "He's saying he's innocent."
Grabe, along with Tom Datre Sr., his son Tom Datre Jr., four Datre companies, former Islip Town parks Commissioner Joseph J. Montuori Jr., his former secretary Brett A. Robinson, and Ron Cianciulli, owner of Atlas Asphalt, a Deer Park paving company, were all due in court Tuesday for conferencing with state Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho.
The six men and four companies were arraigned on Dec. 8 on a variety of charges related to the illegal dumping that left tens of thousands of tons of contaminated debris deposited across four sites in and around Islip -- including Islip Town-owned Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood; a six-home subdivision in Islandia for veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; a sensitive wetlands area on the Islip-Babylon town border; and a private 1-acre lot on Islip Avenue in Central Islip.
"The case is moving through the system in the ordinary way," said Kevin Kearon, attorney for Datre Jr. and his companies.
Andrew Campanelli, attorney for Datre Sr. and a family company, Daytree at Cortland Square, and Patrick O'Connell, attorney for Robinson, declined to comment.
A special grand jury convened by Spota in September has come to a close, sources said.
The grand jury also handed up a 492-count indictment on Datre Jr. and other Datre family members, including his mother, Clara Datre, a former Republican candidate for Islip Town supervisor, and his sister, Gia Gatien.
That case involves alleged grand larceny by their company, Daytree at Cortland Square, a scheme described by prosecutors as overbilling the Town of Islip in relation to contracts for post-Sandy cleanup work, as well as prevailing wage violations related to a tree-trimming contract with the town to illegally net the prominent, politically tied family about $250,000.