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Forest Hills man nabbed in fraud scheme

A Forest Hills man, a Bellerose man and three others were charged with cheating the state out of more than $1.3 million by under-reporting the amount of tax owed on the sales of about 2,200 used automobiles, the Queens district attorney said last week.

Edward Yakubov, 39, of 108-44 69th Ave. in Forest Hills, was the suspected biggest offender of the five, according to DA Richard Brown. He allegedly failed to remit $966,000 in state sales tax from the sale of about 1,270 used cars from his Best Import Motors dealership at 100-21 Northern Blvd. in Elmhurst.

Mohammad Patel, 41, of 93-14 243rd St. in Bellerose, was allegedly the second biggest offender, failing to remit more than $200,010 in state sales tax from the sale of about 750 used cars from Chohan Motors, Inc. at 91-35 183rd St. in Jamaica, said the DA.

The defendants have each been charged with grand larceny and violations of the New York State Tax Law, said Brown. They face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

"Tax evaders are nothing more than common criminals who seek to profit by stealing from the honest people of New York state," said New York State Taxation and Finance Commissioner Arthur J. Roth. "We will continue to work with other agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and prosecutors like District Attorney Richard Brown, to see that tax evaders feel the full weight of the law."

The other used car dealers charged with repeatedly filing false corporate tax returns are Robert Yakubov, 39; Edward Yakubov's brother, who lives in Brooklyn and owns City Ride Auto Plaza in Elmhurst; and Samuel Shalom, 49, of North Woodmere, L.I. and Oded Yellin, 50, of Great Neck, L.I., who co-own Try Import Inc., a used auto dealership in Jamaica.

Robert Yakubov allegedly evaded $66,000 in state sales tax from the sale of about 45 used automobiles, said Brown. Shalom and Yellin were charged with not paying $132,000 in state sales tax from about 100 sales of used automobiles, the DA added.

The types of used cars sold by defendants included Mercedes, Acuras and BMWs, which were sold for up to $40,000 each, said Brown.

"Their alleged conduct deprived New York state of sales tax revenues desperately needed in the ongoing fiscal crisis and cheated as well honest taxpayers who pay their fair share," said the DA.

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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