Owner of Ozone Park Auto Body Shop Charged with Tax Fraud

Owner of Ozone Park Auto Body Shop Charged with Tax Fraud

PHOTO:  The owner of this Ozone Park auto body shop has been charged with tax fraud.  Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza


It was business as usual last Thursday afternoon at A & W Auto Collision Center, Inc. in Ozone Park; no hint of turmoil, even as Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and state Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone announced earlier in the day that owner Stephanie Davino had recently been charged with criminal tax fraud, grand larceny and other charges for allegedly stealing more than $125,000 in collected taxes that were owed to the state and local municipalities.

Davino, 31, was recently arraigned on a criminal complaint charging her and the business with second-, third- and fourth-degree criminal tax fraud; second- and third-degree grand larceny; first-degree scheme to defraud; and fifth-degree conspiracy—all felonies, except for the conspiracy count.

Davino, who lives in Howard Beach and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, was released on her own recognizance last Tuesday and ordered to return to court on Sept. 30.

The corporation, if convicted of a felony, faces a fine of up to $10,000 or double the amount of the illegal gain.

According to the complaint, Davino, who is listed as the owner and president of A&W Collision on tax and finance records, failed to file a sales tax return between Jan. 26, 2012, and March 3, 2014. However, Brown said, during that period of time, the shop allegedly performed repairs totaling approximately $1.4 million and received payment for the repairs from GEICO, State Farm, Allstate, Progressive and USAA insurance companies.

The total amount of sales tax allegedly owed to the city and state comes out to approximately $125,700—$61,965 to the state and $63,735 to local municipalities, Brown noted.

“Sales taxes are meant for the public treasury—not the pockets of business owners,” he added. “By purposefully defrauding the state and local government out of these funds—that could have been used in the public interest—the money instead allegedly lined the pocketbook of this businesswoman. This kind of tax fraud makes every New Yorker a victim.”


By Michael V. Cusenza   michael@theforumnewsgroup.com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>