Former Owner Of Ambulance Companies Pleads Guilty To Withholding Tax Payments

Attorney General Spitzer and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Arthur Roth today announced that the former owner of seven New York City ambulance companies has pled guilty to grand larceny for failing to pay its state payroll withholding tax.

"This defendant attempted to deceive the state and its taxpayers by failing to pay his fair share," Spitzer said.

Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Roth said, "Working with prosecutors across the state, we intend aggressively to investigate and prosecute tax evasion. Our message to tax cheats is simple: You can run but you can't hide."

Hugh Nastasi, age 52, of Brooklyn pled guilty on November 25, 2002 in Albany County Court before Judge Joseph Teresi to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D Felony. Nastasi failed to remit $145,722.40 in tax payments that he collected for a 15 month period beginning in October 1, 1996 from employees who worked for the ambulance companies he owned: Metro-1 Ambulance, Dell Ambulance and Oxygen Service, Metro Ambulette, Triage Transportation, Global Transportation, Rio Ambulance Service Corporation and Dell Ambulette Services, Inc.

Nastasi is scheduled to be sentenced on January 9, 2003. Under a plea agreement Nastasi will likely be sentenced to 3-6 years in prison. In addition, Nastasi will also provide the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance a confession of judgement for the amount he owes in past taxes.

The case was handled by Richard Ernst of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau in Albany.