A father and son whose family operates three Nassau County gas stations are facing felony charges after officials from the New York State attorney general’s office arrested them Wednesday, alleging they stole more than $1 million in gasoline sales tax money.
The BP gas stations authorities say are involved are at 2 Hempstead Ave. in West Hempstead, 385 Merrick Rd. in Valley Stream and 653 Hempstead Ave. in Elmont.
Law enforcement officials identified the defendants as Kulbir Singh, 53, and his son Ladpreet Singh, 24, both of Valley Stream, and said they also filed charges against the family’s three businesses.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office has alleged the businesses collected more than $1 million in sales tax from 2011 to 2014, but failed to turn it over to the state.
Schneiderman said in a statement that such actions put “the burden on hardworking New Yorkers who play by the rules, while also straining our state’s resources.”
Authorities said Kulbir Singh admitted in 2012 that four gas stations he operated in Queens had stolen more than $500,000 in sales tax money. Those corporations pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud, but paid only half of the more than $1 million owed in restitution, Schneiderman’s office said.
Law enforcement officials uncovered the newly alleged wrongdoing while investigating Singh’s failure to pay restitution from the Queens case, according to the state attorney general.
Authorities said that if convicted, the father now faces up to 8 and 1/3 to 25 years in prison, while his son faces a top penalty of 5 to 15 years in prison.
Both entered not guilty pleas during a Mineola arraignment that followed a grand jury’s indictment, according to authorities.
Acting State Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy set bail at $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash for the father, and at $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash for the son.
An attorney for the defendants couldn’t be immediately reached Wednesday.