A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arraignment Of Erie County Gas Station & Manager For Stealing More Than $50k In State Tax Money

Mid-East Enterprises, Inc., And Manager Mogeeb Nagi Charged With Grand Larceny And Criminal Tax Fraud

Schneiderman: We Will Take Aggressive Action Against Tax Cheaters Who Believe They Are Above The Law

BUFFALO – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arraignment on an indictment charging a Lackawanna gas station and convenience store and its manager with the theft of more than $50,000 from New York State by failing to remit sales tax that had been collected.

Mid-East Enterprises, Inc., d.b.a. Excell Fuels, and manager Mogeeb Nagi, 35, of the Town of Hamburg, have been charged by a Erie County Grand Jury with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, and Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree, a class D felony.  If convicted, Nagi faces up to 5 to 15 years in prison.

“Anyone who uses a business to swindle the State of New York and line their own pockets must be held fully accountable,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Sales tax provides a critical flow of revenue to many services that New Yorkers depend on daily. My office will continue to take aggressive action against tax cheaters who believe they are above the law.”

Between June 2008 and November 2009, Mid-East and its manager Nagi collected taxes on behalf of the State of New York from the sales of items at its convenience store and gas station, located at 2368 Hamburg Turnpike in Lackawanna. According to the indictment, during that time period, the defendants did not return to the State of New York the full amount of sale tax collected from its customers, with an intent to evade taxes due. Sales tax money collected by businesses from their customers belongs to the State, and businesses are responsible for ensuring that these funds are remitted in a timely fashion.

Mid-East Enterprises, Inc. was arraigned today in Erie County Supreme Court before the Honorable Russell P. Buscaglia. Mogeeb Nagi was arraigned on October 30th in Erie County Supreme Court before the Honorable M. William Boller.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Cydney A. Kelly of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Stephen Maher, Bureau Chief Gary Fishman, and Chief of the Criminal Division Kelly Donovan. The investigation was conducted by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance's Criminal Investigations Division, located in Buffalo. 

The charges against the defendants are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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