Tag Archives: Citgo

Queens business owners in Bayside and Glendale charged with tax fraud

| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

A couple that owns a Bayside gas station and a Glendale flower shop owner were recently charged for tax-related felonies, prosecutors announced on Thursday.

The owners of Merrick Gas Services, Rajpatee Rampersaud, 45, and her husband Naren Rampersaud, 52, were charged with grand larceny in the second degree and criminal tax fraud in the second degree. The owners, who operate the gas station as a CITGO on 34-51 Bell Blvd., were also slapped with a misdemeanor for operating without a valid Certificate of Authority to collect sales tax.

They failed to pay a total tax liability of $166,810 from September 2009 through May 2014 on cigarettes, sales, withholding and corporate taxes. The Rampersauds also failed to secure a license to sell cigarettes.


Naren Rampersaud and Rajpatee Rampersaud (Photo courtesy of NYS Department of Taxation and Finance)

“This is yet another example of business owners allegedly lining their own pockets with collected sales tax money that should have been remitted to the government,” State Taxation and Finance Commissioner Jerry Boone said. “The city and state rely on collected taxes to fund programs and services for the public. Stealing tax revenue is a crime and makes every New Yorker a victim.”

Also charged was Brian Marcus, 56, of Howard Beach who owns and operates Glendale Florist at 78-17 Myrtle Ave. Marcus was charged with six counts of criminal tax fraud in the second and third degree, two counts of grand larceny in the third degree and grand larceny in the second degree. He was also charged with a misdemeanor for failing to maintain a Certificate of Authority.

Brian Marcus - Photo (NFMC)

Brian Marcus (Photo courtesy of NYS Department of Taxation and Finance)

From December 2011 through February 2015, Marcus failed to report $71,107 of sales tax to the state. He also did not file a personal income tax return in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

All three defendants could face up to 5 to 15 years in prison. The maximum penalty for operating a business without a valid Certificate of Authority is $10,000, which is imposed at the rate of up to $500 for the first day business is conducted without a valid Certificate of Authority, plus up to $200 per day for each day after.


Suspect wanted in Queens mini-mart armed robberies

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops are looking for a suspect who held up two gas station mini-marts in Queens this month.

The first robbery occurred at a Mobil gas station on Elliot Avenue, near 69th Street in Middle Village on Oct. 4. Police said the suspect entered the station’s mini-mart at about 7:35 p.m., brandished a gun and demanded money from a store employee. The suspect then fled with $800.

Three days later, the same suspect allegedly robbed a CITGO mini-mart on 101st Avenue near Rockaway Boulevard at gunpoint. An employee at the Ozone Park business handed over the cash and the suspect left with $3,000 around 10:00 p.m.

Police have released a photo of the suspect from the Oct. 4 robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


Governor Cuomo: Require gas stations to have generators

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed legislation that would require approximately half the gas stations in the state to have a backup generator for use during a fuel supply or energy emergency.

“New York State must learn the lessons from superstorm Sandy so that we are better prepared for the future,” said Cuomo. “This plan will prevent the long lines, delays and frustrations caused by gas stations being forced to close when they lose power.”

Under the governor’s proposal, all gas stations within a half-mile of highway exits and hurricane evacuation routes as well as any newly constructed gas stations or ones that have had major renovations would need to comply to the requirements by March 1, 2014.

Additionally, chains with 10 or more gas stations under common ownership in any region of the state would also need to have an additional 50 percent of their stations pre-wired for a generator by March 1, 2016. In the case of a power outage, those stations would have 48 hours to install and deploy a generator in a fuel or energy emergency.

If a station fails to adhere to the new law, they will face a penalty of up to $2,000 per day.

Calls to several Queens gas stations revealed that most do not have generators and are not planning on getting one. When asked why they didn’t have one, most stations cited cost concerns or lack of necessity as reasons.

Cuomo’s proposed legislation includes grants of up to $10,000 per gas station to help ease the financial burden of installing generators, but the governor’s proposal doesn’t address other obstacles stations faced during Sandy.
Joe Yun, an employee at a Citgo station on 35th Avenue and Bell Boulevard, which suffered long lines and fuel shortages during Sandy, said that a backup generator wouldn’t have helped them in that situation.

The station had no power problems, and ran out of fuel when another issue disrupted the station’s regular fuel delivery schedule.

“[The refineries] got flooded,” explained Yun. “We couldn’t get gas here.”

Map courtesy of Governor Cuomo’s Office