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Post date: July 16 2001

Monroe County Man Sentenced To Pay $77,000 In Tax Evasion Charge

Attorney General Spitzer and State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Arthur Roth today announced the sentencing of a Monroe County chimney and wood stove business owner who had pleaded guilty to stealing more than $77,000 by failing to pay state sales tax.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Dennis Johnston, 50, of 57 Spring Street, Brockport, made full restitution to the state and received a conditional discharge. Johnston was the owner of Big Soot Chimney in Brockport.

On May 29, 2001, Johnston pleaded guilty in Monroe County Court to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E Felony. The plea was based on charges that from 1993 through 1998, Johnston failed to pay the state $77,579.89 in sales tax that he had collected at his chimney and wood stove business.

"This defendant stole from the state and its taxpayers for five years and has now paid the price for his actions," Spitzer said. "We remain committed to working with Commissioner Roth and the Department of Taxation and Finance to ensure that state tax laws are enforced."

"Tax evaders cheat all honest New Yorkers and deprive the state of important programs such as health care and education," Commissioner Roth said. "That is why we pursue such cases vigorously."

The case was handled by Mary C. Baumgarten of the Attorney General's Criminal Prosecution Bureau.