Attorney General James and Acting Tax Commissioner Hiller Announce Arrest of Colonie Car Dealership Owner for Failing to Pay Over $160,000 in Taxes

Guy Kennedy Nicolas and His Business, G&A Auto Care Inc., Allegedly Failed to Report Over $2 Million in Sales and Pay Over $160,000 in Sales Tax Owed to New York State

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James and Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Amanda Hiller today announced the arrest of Guy Kennedy Nicolas of Colonie, New York on six felony charges for allegedly failing to report over $2 million in taxable sales and pay over $160,000 in sales tax. An investigation led by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that Nicolas failed to file annual sales tax returns for his car dealership business, G&A Auto Care Inc., for all but two years from 2013 to 2023. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison.

“New Yorkers should be able to trust that the local businesses in their communities follow the rules and pay their fair share of taxes,” said Attorney General James. “Failing to pay taxes is not only illegal, it cheats New Yorkers across the state out of quality public services they rely on. My office will continue to hold those who attempt to defraud the tax system accountable. I thank all of our partners who supported this investigation.”

“I commend Attorney General James and her team for their diligence and professionalism in handling this case,” said Acting Tax Commissioner Amanda Hiller. “Prosecutions such as these are essential to ensure that honest retailers aren’t undercut by those who evade tax laws.”   

“This joint investigation revealed that Mr. Nicolas consciously shielded millions in taxes that he was held accountable for as a business owner,” said New York State Police Superintendent Steven G. James. “The New York State Police stands ready to assist in investigating and apprehending individuals engaged in fraudulent and dishonest business practices. I thank the Attorney General’s Office and our law enforcement partners for intercepting this individual so he can no longer financially take advantage of others.”

“I applaud the Office of the Attorney General for the diligent work on this investigation,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “We were happy to assist because it is so important to make sure that regulated auto dealers are following the law and paying their required taxes like everyone else.”

A joint investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) and New York State Police (NYSP), with assistance from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles revealed that Nicolas, the owner of G&A Auto Care Inc., was the sole person responsible for sales tax at his business. Nicolas was required to report all taxable sales, including sales of cars, from his dealership and file sales tax returns on at least a yearly basis. 

However, from at least 2013 through 2023, G&A Auto Care, Inc. and Nicolas allegedly failed to file all but two annual sales tax returns. According to an audit conducted by OAG, between June 2013 and March 2023, Nicolas underreported total sales by over $2 million and failed to remit over $160,000 in sales tax due.

Today, G&A Auto Care, Inc. was arraigned in Albany County Court before the Honorable William T. Little. Nicolas was previously arraigned on April 11, 2024. The indictment charges both Nicolas and G&A Auto Care, Inc. with six felonies: 

  • One count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C felony.
  • One count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree, a Class D felony.
  • Four counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a Class E felony.

Nicolas was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear back in court on May 10, 2024. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of up to 5 to 15 years in prison.

The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Attorney General James thanks the New York State Department of Taxation Finance, New York State Police Financial Crimes Unit and Special Investigations Unit, and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for their invaluable assistance on this case. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General John R. Healy and Philip V. Apruzzese of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau (CEFC). Forensic accounting was performed by Senior Auditor Investigator Brenna Magruder, under the supervision of Principal Supervising Auditor Investigator Jason Blair, Deputy Chief Auditor Sandy Bizzarro, and Chief Auditor Kristen Fabbri. Analytical work was provided by Legal Support Analysts Kai Tsurumaki and Brooke Starkey, under the supervision of Deputy Supervising Analyst Jayleen Garcia and Chief Analyst Paul Strocko. CEFC is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph G. D’Arrigo.

The OAG investigation was conducted by Detective Jason Johnston, under the supervision of Assistant Chief Samuel Scotellaro and Deputy Chief Juanita Bright of the Major Investigations Unit. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Investigator Oliver Pu-Folkes. Both the Investigations Bureau and CEFC are part of the Division of Criminal Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Jose Maldonado. The Division of Criminal Justice is overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.