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Post date: April 12 1999

Charges Filed Against Tax Dodgers

Attorney General Spitzer and Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Michael Urbach today announced they have filed criminal charges against New Yorkers for violating the state's personal income tax laws.

"The state is willing to work constructively with anyone who has tax problems, but it will prosecute those who knowingly flaunt the law," said Spitzer. "These cases should serve as a reminder that willful tax fraud will not be tolerated."

Commissioner Urbach said: "These cases send a powerful message that New York will not tolerate tax cheats."

Among those brought up on personal income tax fraud charges are:

  • Michael Marchassalla, a stockbroker from Douglaston, Queens County, faces two counts of failure to file taxes for three consecutive years and two counts of failure to file an income tax return. Marchassalla failed to file tax returns from 1993-1996. Over that span he had an adjusted gross income of $1.19 million. He owed $72,355 in back taxes over and above his withholding.
  • Vedran Nazor, a stockbroker from Riverdale, Bronx County, faces two counts of failure to file income taxes for three consecutive years and two counts of failure to file an income tax return. Nazor failed to file returns from 1993-1996. Over that span he had an adjusted gross income of $674,000. He owed $52,035 in back taxes over and above his tax withholding.
  • Renee Cook, an investment analyst, from Hartsdale, Westchester County, faces four counts of failure to file income taxes for three consecutive years and two counts of failure to file an income tax return. Cook failed to file tax returns from 1991-1996. Over that span her and her husband's adjusted gross income was $1.65 million. She and her husband owed $28,208 in back taxes over and above her tax withholdings.

Cases against these individuals were developed by the Department of Taxation and Finance and referred to the Attorney General for prosecution. Those charged with tax fraud are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

Failure to file for three consecutive years is a Class E felony punishable by up to fours years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000. Failure to file an income tax return is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The deadline for filing returns for the 1998 tax year is Thursday, April 15.