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Glendale man pleads guilty to $2M business tax fraud

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A Glendale man who owned a clothing company in Ridgewood pleaded guilty to tax charges last month after failing to report more than $2 million brought in by his clothing business over the course of three years, IRS officials said.

Djordje Nikolic, of 64th Place in Glendale, faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 in a plea agreement he made with prosecutors, said Special Agent Diane Burggraf, a spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of “subscribing to a false return” at a July 25 hearing in Brooklyn Federal Court, Burggraf said.

Nikolic was unavailable for comment. A phone company message indicates that the number at his Glendale home as been “temporarily disconnected at the customer’s request.”

His company is no longer listed in the phone book, and it is unclear whether it is still operating.

Nikolic, the owner of Gordana Fine Sportswear Inc. in Ridgewood, failed to report $2.23 million in his business’ gross receipts between 1993 and 1996, then diverted much of that money for personal use, Burggraf said.

According to charges filed by U.S. Attorney Alan Vinegrad, his tax return in 1995 reported a loss of $8,745, whereas the income actually exceeded that amount by $351,848.

In 1996 he reported $68,027 in income for Gordana Fine Sportswear, while the true figure was $867,057 greater; and in 1997 he actually brought in $844,282 more than the $190,106 he reported.

As the sole shareholder in his company, any profits Nikolic earned from Gordana Fine Sportswear — a sweater manufacturer — would have to be reported on his personal income tax return.

But by failing to disclose just how much the company collected in gross receipts, Nikolic in turn reduced the figures for his net income and thereby cut down how much he had to pay in his own taxes, according to the IRS.

“Everybody’s liable to pay their fair share of taxes, that’s the bottom line,” Burggraf said. “We just want the public to be aware that everyone should pay their fair share of taxes.”

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:16 pm, October 10, 2011
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