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Dealer Pleads to Tax Evasion

judgeA New York dealer has pleaded guilty to stealing $39,581 in New York State sales tax.

Leonard Johnson of Buffalo, N.Y., was charged with grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony, and falsifying business records in the first degree, a class E felony.

Johnson at one time operated Chrome Motors, located at 908 Genesee St. in Buffalo. Based on records obtained from the business during a New York State Tax Department investigation, Johnson was charged with stealing sales tax that he charged and collected from customers who purchased cars from him - though he failed to remit the money to the state.

Between 2009 and 2011 the investigation showed that Johnson filed tax returns with a total payment in sales tax of $8,719. This was substantially less than the $48,301 he actually collected during these years and owed the state.

Johnson faces a possible prison sentence of up to seven years. Sentencing is slated for Feb. 27.