ALBANY, N.Y. (RELEASE) - New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward today announced that a Buffalo man pled guilty to a grand larceny charge in connection with his theft of more than $71,000 in sales taxes he illegally collected for a period of over three years.
Dwayne Ferguson, 32, of 618 Norfolk Street in Buffalo is the owner of Drive Tyme Inc., a rental car company and Intihar Towing, a vehicle towing company business, both located in Buffalo. The investigation determined that $71,614 in sales taxes stolen by Ferguson in the period of March 1, 2008 to May 31, 2010 represented sales tax and an additional tax on car rentals, which represented over 13 percent in tax paid on each rental. Department investigators determined that Ferguson illegally collected the sales tax, as the company was not registered with the state to collect the sales tax and had failed to file sales tax returns.
Ferguson also pled guilty to two counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree. The charges related to his possession of a phony lien release from "Manufacturers Tranders" [sic], and a forged certificate of liability insurance Ferguson provided to the company which provided him the vehicles for his rental company.
Following his guilty plea before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns, Ferguson was remanded to the Erie County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. He faces a maximum of seven years in state prison on each charge. As a prior felon, he faces mandatory prison time when he is sentenced on December 1.
Acting Commissioner Woodward stated, "I thank Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III for the aggressive prosecution of this case. If businesses are aware that they have not remitted all of the tax they owe and are not yet under the scrutiny of the Department of Taxation and Finance, I urge its owners to immediately enter the State's Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program to correct past returns and avoid both civil and criminal penalties. Information on the program is available on our website at www.nystax.gov ."
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