Cattaraugus County Man Guilty Of Failing To Pay $147,605 In Taxes

Attorney General Spitzer and State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Arthur Roth today announced that a Cattaraugus County liquor and beverage business owner has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $147,000 by failing to pay state sales tax.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Edmund J. Renaud, 59, of 3 Woodview Court, Olean, will pay the state $147,605 in restitution. Renaud was the owner of On the Side Liquor and the Beverage and Redemption Center in Olean.

This week, Renaud pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E Felony. The plea was based on charges that from 1994 through 1997, Renaud failed to pay the state $147,605.61 in sales tax that he collected at his liquor and beverage stores. Renaud paid $100,000 of the restitution this week . He will pay the remainder of the restitution by November 1. Sentencing is set for December 17, 2001.

"This defendant stole from the state for three years and failed to recognize that he would be held accountable for his actions," Spitzer said. "We remain committed to working with the State Tax Department to ensure that all state tax laws are enforced."

"We treat these cases very seriously," Commissioner Roth said. "In addition to over $147,000 is restitution, this individual also faces over $275,000 in penalties and interest, which will help pay for important state-funded programs such as education and medical care. We will continue to work with state and local prosecutors to see these white collar criminals brought to justice and show that it doesn't pay to cheat."

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Mary C. Baumgarten of the Attorney General's Criminal Prosecution Bureau under the direction of Deputy Bureau Chief William Comiskey.