Wayne County Trash Hauler Guilty Of Tax Fraud

Attorney General Spitzer and state Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Arthur Roth today announced that a Wayne County waste hauler has been sentenced for stealing nearly $100,000 in state sales tax collected by his company.

George Van Gelder, of 7267 East Bay Road in Wolcott, was sentenced May 2 by Wayne County Court Judge Dennis Kehoe to one-and-one-half to three years in prison. Van Gelder’s sentence was based on his pleading guilty on December 21, 1999 to one count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a Class E felony, and one count of Willful Failure to File Sales Tax Returns, a misdemeanor.

"By their crimes, tax evaders victimize all New Yorkers who conscientiously meet their tax obligations," said Spitzer. "This case is particularly egregious in that the business owner acted as though state tax was income for his business."

Commissioner Roth said: "Mr. Van Gelder took the tax money from customers and put it to his own uses. People who try and pick the pocket of the public are nothing more than common thieves and should be punished as such."

Van Gelder, 51, is the owner of G.V.G. Sanitation, a Wolcott waste hauling company. An investigation by the state tax department determined that Van Gelder had not paid $94,975 in state sales tax that he collected through his company from 1995 through 1998. Van Gelder made full restitution at his May 2 sentencing.

The case was forwarded by the state tax department to the Attorney General’s office for prosecution where it was handled by Assistant Attorney General Mary Baumgarten of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau.