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Roc restaurant owner pleads guilty to tax theft

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox announced today that a Pittsford restaurant owner pled guilty as charged on October 24, 2012 to stealing approximately $196,000 in sales taxes collected from customers over a three year period.Robert J. Bryant, 65, of Davies Avenue in West Henrietta, NY, also pled guilty to filing 18 false sales tax returns to hide his underreported sales, and two counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree.In total, Bryant pled guilty to 21 felony counts. Grand Larceny in the Second Degree is a class C felony; Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree is a class E felony; and Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree is a class D felony. Bryant’s sentence could range from probation to 15 years in state prison.Commissioner Mattox commended Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley and Assistant District Attorney Mark Monaghan for their aggressive prosecution of this case.Bryant was immediately placed on interim probation by Monroe County Court Judge Frank T. Gerace, which included the condition that the defendant surrender to the Monroe County Jail for work weekends. Bryant was ordered to return to court for an update on his interim probation on February 24, 2013. No sentencing date has yet been set; however, Judge Gerace ordered Bryant to begin repaying the State the $196,583.00 of stolen sales tax.Bryant is the current owner of PB&J Bryant, Inc., d/b/a Fruit and Salad Company, located at 680 Pittsford-Victor Road, Pittsford. Bryant also co-owned Joshua, Inc., which operated the popular Hicks and McCarthy restaurant in Pittsford. It was sold last year. Bryant’s guilty pleas related to the restaurants operated by his PB&J Bryant, Inc. and Joshua, Inc. companies.“Honest business people who collect and remit sales tax on behalf of the State and local governments can rest assured that we are committed to seeing that the tax laws are equitably and impartially enforced,” Commissioner Mattox said.The Department offers the Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program to encourage delinquent taxpayers to become compliant without facing criminal prosecution or civil penalty. It is hoped that this case will encourage such taxpayers to come forward and satisfy their obligations. For more information about the programs, go to the Department’s website at www.tax.ny.gov.

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