Oswego County Grocer Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion

Attorney General Spitzer and Andrew S. Eristoff, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance ("NYSDTF"), today announced that an Oswego County businessman has pleaded guilty to a felony state sales tax evasion charge.

Joseph Elewononi, 44, of Fulton, the chief executive officer of Grace Discount Foods, Inc., pleaded guilty on May 30th to one count of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class "E" felony, for failing to remit collected sales tax. The plea was entered in Oswego County Court before Judge Walter Hafner. It was alleged in the felony complaint that for a 38-month period beginning in March 2001, Grace Discount Foods, Inc., collected $102,046 in sales tax and failed to remit that amount to the state.

Grace Discount Foods, Inc., has three small grocery stores, two in Oswego County and one in Wayne County. During the period in question, their business offices were located at 371 5th Street, Fulton, New York.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 30.

This matter was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Richard Ernst of the Attorney General's Criminal Prosecutions Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Viola I. Abbitt. It was investigated by Investigator Clinton L. Woodford of the NYSDTF’s Revenue Crimes Bureau with the assistance of NYSDTF Auditors Sean Mulloy and Kim Raga.

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