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St. James Man Sentenced to Prison For Sales Tax Fraud

Richard Kogel to serve time and pay the state $1.4 million in restitution.

A St. James man who failed to pay the state more than $1.4 million in sales tax collected at his furniture store was sentenced to two to six years in prison on Tuesday, officials said. 

Richard Kogel, the owner of Medford's Rooms Unlimited, pleaded guilty last November to first degree grand larceny, a felony. 

Kogel, 68, collected sales tax from customers at the Route 112 store on sales of approximately $17 million between June 2007 and May 2011, but Kogel did not give the state its share, officials said. 

In addition to prison time, Kogel was also ordered Tuesday to make restitution to the state in the amount of $1.4 million. 

The crime was investigated by the state Tax Department's Criminal Investigations Division and prosecuted by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

"I thank District Attorney Spota for his successful prosecution of this case and his ongoing work to stop tax fraud,” New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas Mattox said.  ”Sales tax is paid by customers with the trust that it will be remitted for state and local government purposes.  We will continue to work with all levels of law enforcement to bring tax evaders to justice and level the playing field for honest business owners." 
  
brookhavenconfucius May 01, 2014 at 11:54 AM
The craftiness of this plea deal, is this guy lived off the interest of the $1.4 MILLION DOLLARS, for going on 8 years now, from what he stole, and ONLY had to pay back the original amount owed NYS ! He probably has tickets for his move to Boca, already purchased !
Archie Bunker May 01, 2014 at 12:33 PM
you are not understanding this - he has 17 million dollars in sales but did not pay the sales tax on the sales which is about 1.4 million. so he has to pay that back and also do jail time (which is extremely rare in sales tax evasion cases)
brookhavenconfucius May 01, 2014 at 02:03 PM
WHAT YOU DONT UNDERSTAND IS..he is walking away with more money than he stole..SO WHERE is the punishment ? He is ONLY paying back, what he owes in nys tax. A search of brookhaven nys election campaign contributions, of a couple of local pols, will show you that he has paid, for this Deal. You wont find it in your NEWSDAY.
Heidi May 02, 2014 at 09:15 AM
Unreal. Yet Lawrence Aviation owner only had to serve 1 year for costing 30 million in EPA Superfund cleanup that will last 25 years, and all the while the toxic plume has spread from Sheep Pasture to the harbor with the middle and high schools sitting right on the site!!
Brookhaven999 May 02, 2014 at 12:34 PM
BEWARE of the Medford Rooms Unlimited!!!!! We ordered about $8,000 worth of funrniture there and after many months it still hadn't arrived. When we tried to cancel the order, the owner threatened to charge thousands MORE from our credit card because we weren't allowed to cancel a "special order". When we said it hadn't been a special order, he said look at the order. Sure enough, his sales person wrote "special order" by hand AFTER we signed it. This guy should lose his property and go to jail for life.

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