A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN AND ACTING TAX COMMISSIONER MANION ANNOUNCE ARREST OF FORMER BROOME COUNTY RESTAURANT OWNER FOR FAILING TO REPORT AND PAY SALES TAX
Robert Niederriter and His Former Business, Buffalo Head Bar & Grill, LLC, Allegedly Failed to Pay Over $59,000 In Sales Tax Owed to New York State
BROOME COUNTY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion today announced the arrest of Robert Niederriter, 52, of Kirkwood, on six felony charges for allegedly failing to accurately report all taxable sales and remit over $59,000 in sales tax collected at his former business, Buffalo Head Bar & Grill, LLC, between 2011 and 2015.
“My office will not tolerate business owners who skirt the law by not paying their fair share of taxes,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We will continue to root out and prosecute those who attempt to defraud the tax system.”
“When businesses fail to meet their tax obligations—to file the required returns and remit the sales tax collected from customers as alleged in this case—they deprive the state and the communities where they operate of revenue needed for vital services, and put honest merchants at a competitive disadvantage,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “We’ll continue to work with the AG’s office and all our law enforcement partners to ensure that these criminals face justice.”
According to the felony complaint, Niederriter was the owner of Buffalo Head Bar & Grill, a bar and restaurant located at 1577 Conklin Road in Conklin, from June 2011 through December 2015. An investigation by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance revealed that Niederriter filed an Application to Register for a Sales Tax Certificate of Authority, known as a DTF-17, listing himself as the sole responsible person for sales tax. Niederriter was legally required to report all taxable sales, including food and beverage sales, and to file sales tax returns on a quarterly basis. However, during the time he owned and operated Buffalo Head Bar & Grill, Niederriter only filed two quarterly sales tax returns. According to an audit conducted by the Department of Taxation and Finance, between June 1, 2011 and November 30, 2015, Niederriter underreported Buffalo Head Bar & Grill’s total sales by $747,362.56 and failed to remit $59,789.01 in sales tax due.
Niederriter was arraigned this morning in Windsor Town Court before the Honorable Frederic S. Stapleton on a felony complaint charging both him and Buffalo Head Bar & Grill, LLC with: Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C felony, in violation of Penal Law §155.40(1); three counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree, a Class D felony, in violation of Tax Law §1804; one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a Class E felony, in violation of Tax Law §1803; and one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a Class E felony, in violation of Penal Law §175.10. Judge Stapleton released Niederriter on his own recognizance.
If convicted, Niederriter 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.
The Attorney General’s Office thanks the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their invaluable assistance on this case.
The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Investigator Joel Cordone under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Richard Doyle and Deputy Chief Antoine Karam. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Andrew J. Tarkowski of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph G. D’Arrigo. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett.