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District Attorney

Posted on: April 9, 2015

Auto Body Shop Owner Arrested for Stealing Nearly $190K in Sales Taxes

Donnelly Douglas

Douglas Donnelly, Jr., 50, of Garden City, failed to remit thousands of dollars in sales tax collected from customers of three Nassau businesses MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrest of a Garden City man for failing to remit sales taxes to New York State by underreporting sales in tax returns submitted on behalf of three auto body shop businesses for which he was the responsible party. Douglas Donnelly, 50, was arrested and arraigned today before Nassau District Court Judge Darlene Harris on the following charges: • Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony) • Four counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the 1st Degree (an E felony) • Three counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 3rd Degree (a D felony) Three corporations for which Donnelly was the responsible party – Mineola-Jericho Auto Body, Inc.; Trinity Auto Body, Ltd.; and Trinity’s Mineola Jericho Auto Body Ltd. – also face larceny and felony criminal tax fraud charges. Judge Harris released the defendant on his own recognizance. If convicted of the top charge, Donnelly faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison. He is due back in court on April 16. “Customers who pay sales tax to businesses should be sure that the money they are spending is going towards vital government services and not in the business owner’s pocket,” Acting DA Singas said. “Businesses that don’t remit sales tax money are stealing from the state, the county and their customers.’ Acting DA Singas said that Donnelly, as the responsible party for Mineola-Jericho Auto Body Inc., Trinity Auto Body, Ltd., and Trinity’s Mineola Jericho Auto Body Ltd., failed to file New York State tax returns and/or underreported sales in tax returns submitted on behalf of the three corporations from March 1, 2008 to Feb. 28, 2014. The NYS Department of Taxation and Finance reviewed extensive records for all three companies and found additional monies that were not accounted for in their quarterly sales tax filings. The agency also found quarters for which tax returns were never filed. DA investigators subsequently confirmed that the three companies and their responsible party were significantly underreporting gross sales. Donnelly, acting as the responsible party for all three corporations from March 1, 2008 to February 28, 2014, failed to remit a total of $188,198.93 of collected sales tax. Assistant District Attorney Leemor Peled of Acting DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Donnelly is represented by John Powers, Esq. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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