After a four-year extradition battle, the Queens District Attorney’s office has brought charges against a former Forest Hills resident accused of skimping on his taxes by millions of dollars.
Boris Michaelov, a naturalized Israeli citizen and Canadian resident, was indicted for under-reporting the sales tax on thousands of used cars sold at his dealership in Queens between 2001 and 2005. Michaelov owed $28 million over the four-year period, but omitted the sale of roughly 3,000 vehicles, which added up to an additional $2.3 million.
“When consumers pay sales taxes they expect those funds to go into the public treasury—not into the business owner’s pockets,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “This is the type of crime that makes every New Yorker a victim by cheating the government and the public out of money that is especially needed in the ongoing fiscal crisis.”
The investigation into Michaelov’s fraud began in 2003, when the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance learned that Michaelov was possibly under-reporting sales at his Long Island used car dealership. The dealership, called Bill Johnson Auto Sales and then Lefferts Auto Sales, was located in Elmont.
Michaelov moved to Toronto before charges were brought against him. The District Attorney’s office worked with several New York State and Canadian agencies to return Michaelov to Queens. He was arraigned on Friday and will return to court on June 13.
Michaelov faces 25 years in prison for grand larceny, falsifying business records and conspiracy.