HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) — A Chemung County business owner pled guilty to pocketing sales tax money from its customers for five years, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced.
Sheryl Spotts, who owns Spotts Innovations, Inc., an awning and window business in Horseheads, pled guilty to felony criminal tax fraud after an investigation of sales tax collections at the business.
NYSDTF said that Spotts took in $125,735.28 in sales taxes from customers between 2011 and 2016, but didn’t file the necessary sales tax returns and failed to send that money to the Tax Department, a process required by NYS law.
“Theft of sales tax is a crime that does not immediately impact a community,” Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore said, “but instead has an insidious effect as it steals monies over time belonging to the state and local municipalities.”
Spotts and her husband William Spotts also paid $111,284.43 in interest on top of the full amount of taxes collected at the business.
“We hope that by prosecuting such crimes we can deter future tax fraud,” Wetmore said, “Our office thanks the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their partnership and support with the investigation and prosecution of this matter.”