The owners of six Suffolk County businesses face criminal charges after officials said they collectively bilked New York State out of almost $338,000 in unpaid taxes.
The arrests were announced Tuesday by Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance as part of what was described as "a concerted law enforcement effort" to crack down on tax fraud — and officials said charges against the six stemmed from filing fraudulent tax returns and for failure to remit sales tax revenue to the state.
Those charged include: Shirley-based Corelli Drywall Inc., owner Vincent Corelli, 46, of Mastic Beach; Amityville-based Maple Place Auto Body Inc., owner Peter Cucurullo, 65, of Bethpage; Bohemia-based Perfect Bodies Auto Body Inc., owner Joseph Divilio, 56, of Hauppauge; Holbrook-based All Star Restoration Inc., owner Russell Regan, 61, of East Islip; Shirley-based East End Builders and Associates, owner Jonathan Rubin, 55, of Lido Beach; and Deer Park-based A1 Collision Specialists Corp., owner Andres Suarez, 49, of Brentwood.
In total, officials said the defendants defrauded the state out of $337,811.36 in unpaid taxes. All were released on their own recognizance after arraignment, Sini said.
"We are now less than two weeks out from tax day, which was extended this year due to the pandemic," Sini said in a statement. He added: "As people are preparing their taxes this year, these cases serve as a clear reminder that failing to pay taxes is a serious crime that affects all of us and that will not be tolerated. This has undoubtedly been a tough year for many businesses and business owners, but that does not excuse cutting corners at the expense of taxpayers by failing to pay their fair share of taxes."
New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt said in a statement: "New Yorkers who purposefully evade their taxes violate the trust of their community and place others at a distinct disadvantage. This is money that would have made a difference in the lives of area residents by funding public programs and services. Instead, they used it for their own personal gain."
Officials said all six defendants were charged with fourth-degree criminal tax fraud and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. Additionally, Cucurullo and Divilio were charged with grand larceny, officials said. If convicted on the top count, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.