A trio of concrete companies pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal tax fraud, to the tune of $780,000 in sales taxes they collected but did not pay to the state.
Concrete on Demand and two successor corporations, Comix Inc. and Copour Inc. each pleaded guilty in Orange County Court through lawyers to a count of second-degree criminal tax fraud. Concrete on Demand had an office in Kiryas Joel, and Copour has a Kiryas Joel office. Comix has offices in Sloatsburg. The case was referred to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office by the state Tax Department. Investigators executed search warrants on March 9 at three locations in Orange County and two in Rockland.
Two principles of the companies, David Gross, 45, and David Friedman, 43, both of Kiryas Joel, pleaded guilty earlier to misdemeanor criminal tax fraud in Monroe Town Court. They were each sentenced to a three-year conditional discharge, with the requirement that they pay full restitution on Thursday.
In each case, the corporations admitted under questioning by Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher Borek to collecting the sales tax required by law, and then underpaying the state Department of Taxation and Finance by more than $50,000 in a single year.
Through lawyer Mark Gordon, Concrete On Demand and its president, Gross, admitted the corporation shorted the state $335,637.78 from March 13, 2011 through March 13, 2012.
Through lawyer John Ingrassia, Copour and Comix and Friedman, as a managerial agent, admitted those corporations underpaid the state between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016, by $318,662.70 for Copour and by $126,342.02 for Comix.
As part of the plea agreement, Gross handed over a check for the full amount owed by Concrete on Demand in court. Friedman delivered the Copur and Comix checks to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office later Thursday.
Both corporations may still face penalties and interest imposed by the state Tax Department, Borek said, in dollar amounts that could double what they paid.
Borek’s sentencing recommendation, based on repayment of the tax money, was a fine.
Judge Robert Freehill sentenced Concrete on Demand to a fine of $2,500. He’ll impose sentence on Copour and Comix on Jan. 12.
District Attorney David Hoovler said taxpayers have the right to know the sales tax they pay is going toward public services, not into the pockets of unscrupulous business owners.