Just days after the conviction of so-called “Taxi King” Evgeny Freidman for stealing nearly $5 million in MTA taxes, state Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced last Friday the guilty plea of Sunnyside attorney Andreea Dumitru for her role in assisting Freidman.
Dumitru and Freidman were business partners who managed Taxicab Management Inc. with its fleet of 800 medallion taxicabs operating out of Woodside, Long Island City and other locations around the city.
Dumitru, 43, pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud for helping Freidman in his failure to remit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance $5 million in 50-cent MTA surcharges between 2012 and 2015. Dumitru was chief financial officer of the company.
“As we’ve detailed, Andreea Dumitru partnered with Evgeny Freidman to steal from New Yorkers -- lining their pockets with tax dollars that should have been invested in our transit system,” Underwood said. “We will continue to hold accountable anyone who tries to game the system for their own benefit.”
Dumitru agreed to pay $25,000 in criminal restitution as part of her plea and to cooperate with ongoing investigations by the attorney general’s office related to Freidman’s business. If Dumitru fully complies with the terms of her agreement, she will be permitted to withdraw her felony plea and enter a plea of guilty to the lesser crime of criminal tax fraud in the fifth degree, a class A misdemeanor, and receive a sentence of three years probation.
Freidman agreed to pay back the $5 million he withheld from the state as part of his plea deal last week. If he satisfies the terms of his agreement, he will be sentenced to five years probation. The New York Times reported that Freidman is a “significant” business partner of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, and that Freidman agreed to cooperate with the government as a potential witness in state or federal investigations. Cohen is facing an investigation by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, who is examining his business practices. Anything that bolsters that inquiry could increase pressure on Cohen to cooperate with Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Meanwhile, Dumitru is also facing charges of immigration fraud in a separate case with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office. The March 2018 indictment alleges that Dumitru, whose law firm is located at 48-23 Skillman Ave. in Sunnyside, submitted fraudulent forms for more than 180 clients and knowingly made false statements about them. Her charges of asylum fraud and making false statements carry prison sentences of 10 years and five years, respectively.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr
©2018 Community News Group
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