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Suffolk County business owner to serve 2 to 6 years in prison and pay $1.4 million for sales tax fraud

ALBANY – A Suffolk County business owner was sentenced today to a prison term of two to six years for sales tax fraud.

Richard Kogel, 65, pled guilty in November of last year to grand larceny in the first degree, a felony.  Kogel, who gave his address as 48 Branglebrink Road, Saint James, NY, was the owner and president of K.A.R. Ltd., and doing business as Rooms Unlimited, a furniture store, located at 2066 Route 112, Medford, NY.

Kogel failed to report taxable sales in the amount of approximately $17 million and failed to remit to the State more than $1.4 million in sales tax collected from his customers between June 2007 and May 2011.  The defendant was ordered to make restitution to the State of $1,441,256.

The crime was investigated by the Tax Department's Criminal Investigations Division and prosecuted by the Suffolk County District Attorney, Thomas Spota.

"I thank District Attorney Spota for his successful prosecution of this case and his ongoing work to stop tax fraud,” Commissioner Thomas Mattox said.  ”Sales tax is paid by customers with the trust that it will be remitted for state and local government purposes.  We will continue to work with all levels of law enforcement to bring tax evaders to justice and level the playing field for honest business owners.”

Each year, New York State businesses collect nearly $25 billion in sales tax from their customers. Businesses transmit the funds to the NYS Tax Department for state programs and distribution to local governments.