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A car salesman who formerly lived in Forest Hills was practically giving away cars — at least, that is how it appeared on his tax records, county prosecutors said.
After a four-year legal battle with Canada, 43-year-old Boris Michaelov was extradited to the United States last Thursday to face charges of running a tax evasion scheme.
Michaelov, formerly of 62-59 108th St., allegedly failed to report the true sale value of thousands of cars that left his Long Island dealership and pocketed $2.3 million that should have gone to the state in taxes, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
“When consumers pay sales taxes, they expect those funds to go into the public treasury — not into the business owner’s pockets,” Brown said in a statement.
Michaelov has lived in Canada since 2007, but previously owned a used-car dealership in Elmont, L.I., known both as Bill Johnson Auto Sales and later Lefferts Auto Sales where the alleged tax scheme took place.
But after authorities tracked him down in Toronto, Canada, in 2007 and attempted to have him extradited, Michaelov fought the case in court for years, a spokesman for the DA said, but finally lost and was brought back to Queens to face charges.
Because of the nature of extradition laws, the DA cannot charge Michaelov with tax evasion, the spokesman said, but the grand larceny charges could mean up to 25 years behind bars.
Between December 2001 to May 2005, Michaelov is accused of under-reporting the sale of roughly 3,000 autos, which added up to about $28 million, the DA said.
And to make the alleged crime even worse, that money could have gone toward mitigating some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget cuts, 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 DA said.
Michaelov is being held without bail and will be back in court June 13, the DA said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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