2010-02-26 / Top Stories

Locals Arrested In Tax Fraud Investigation

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward announced the arrest of 14 individuals, including three from Rockaway, on tax evasion charges in conjunction with a number of local district attorneys.

The defendants have been charged with evading hundreds of thousands of dollars in state income taxes on millions in earnings by not filing tax returns over multiple years. All three Rockaway defendants were Verizon employees and may have claimed a large number of allowances, and as a result, taxes were not withheld in appropriate amounts from their wages.

The arrests mark the continuation of the Department’s enforcement initiative targeting individuals who evade their tax obligations by failing to file their state returns. Including these recent cases, more than 50 non-filers have been arrested statewide in connection with this initiative.

Among the arrested was Ronnie Flemming, 42, a Verizon technician from Arverne, charged with one class E felony for Repeated Failure to File Personal Income Tax returns from 2005 through 2007. During that time, Flemming earned $223,759 and failed to pay $14,316 in New York State income taxes. He is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of failure to file and two misdemeanor counts of failure to pay his state personal income taxes for tax years 2005 through 2007. If convicted, Flemming faces up to four years in state prison.

Second was Carol R. Gayle, 46, another Verizon technician from Arverne, was charged with two counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, and two counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fifth Degree, a misdemeanor for failure to pay state income tax for 2008. She is also charged with one misdemeanor count of failure to file and one misdemeanor count of failure to pay state income tax for 2007. During that time Gayle earned $160,055 and failed to pay $8,405 in New York State income taxes. If convicted, Gayle faces up to four years in state prison.

Finally, Daniel J. Milmore, 51, of Rockaway Park, a Verizon field technician, was also charged with two class E felony counts for Failing to File Personal Income Tax returns for tax years 2004 through 2007. He is also charged with four misdemeanors for failing to file and pay his New York State personal income taxes for tax years 2006 and 2007. If found guilty, Milmore faces up to four years in state prison.

“Tax evasion by non-filers continues to be a major problem that costs the state hundreds of millions in tax revenues each year,” said Woodward. “Non-filers should be aware that the Department is determined to investigate and prosecute this misconduct. Using enhanced technology and beefed-up enforcement resources, we will continue to pursue those who do not meet their obligations.

“Those delinquent taxpayers who are not yet under audit or investigation are encouraged to avoid penalties or criminal prosecution by participating in the Department’s Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program. For more information about this program, go to the Department’s website.

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