Release # 112-2011
125-01 QUEENS BOULEVARD
KEW GARDENS, NEW YORK 11415-1568
RICHARD A. BROWN
D ISTRICT A TTORNEY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: KEVIN RYAN
FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011 HELEN PETERSON
FUGITIVE AUTO DEALER EXTRADITED FROM CANADA
ON $2.3 MILLION SALES TAX THEFT
Faces Up To 25 Years In Prison
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that a former Forest Hills
resident has been arraigned today on charges of carrying out a sales tax evasion scheme in which he
allegedly stole approximately $2.3 million from the state by under reporting the actual amount of
sales taxes owed on the sale of thousands of used vehicles sold at his Long Island car dealership. The
defendant was brought back yesterday to the United States from Toronto, Canada, after a four-year
legal battle to have him extradited for prosecution in Queens County.
District Attorney Brown said, “When consumers pay sales taxes they expect those funds to
go into the public treasury – not into the business owner’s pockets. In this case, the defendant is
accused of having under reported his taxable retail sales of cars to the tune of $28 million. By
allegedly pretending to have sold fewer vehicles then he actually did, the defendant is alleged to have
been able to fraudulently pocket approximately $2.3 million in sales taxes owed to New York State.
This is the type of crime that makes every New Yorker a victim by cheating the government and the
public out of money that is especially needed in the ongoing fiscal crisis.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Boris Michaelov, 43, formerly of 62-59
108th Street in Forest Hills, Queens. Michaelov, a naturalized Israeli citizen residing in Canada
since at least 2007, was arraigned today before Queens Country Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C.
Holder on an indictment charging him with one count of first-degree grand larceny, thirteen counts
of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, thirteen counts of first-degree falsifying business
records and one count of fourth-degree conspiracy. Michaelov, who faces up to 25 years in prison
if convicted, was ordered held without bail and to return to court on June 13, 2011.
District Attorney Brown said that an investigation began in 2003 when the New York State
Department of Taxation and Finance developed information that Michaelov was failing to remit sales
tax collected on auto sales at his Long Island used car dealership which operated under two names
– originally, Bill Johnson Auto Sales and then Lefferts Auto Sales, both located at 1213 Hempstead
Turnpike in Elmont, New York. As a result, investigators and auditors from the state Department
of Taxation and Finance teamed up with New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
investigators and began reviewing the state records of Michaelov’s dealership.
The District Attorney said that, according to the charges, Michaelov failed to remit
approximately $2.3 million in state sales tax from the proceeds of about 3,000 sales of used cars
between December 1, 2001, and May 31, 2005.
District Attorney Brown expressed his sincere appreciation to the International Assistance
Group at the Canadian Department of Justice (Ministère de la Justice Canada), in particular to
Counsel Tom Lemon, for their assistance in the extradition process, and to the United States
Department of State for guiding the case through diplomatic channels.
District Attorney Brown also thanked the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at the United
States Department of Justice – namely, OIA Director Molly Warlow, Principal Deputy Director
Stewart Robinson and Team V-Canada, including Associate Director Jeffrey Olson, Trial Attorney
Roman Chaban, and Paralegal Katelyn Leader; the United States Marshals Service – in particular,
DUSM Robert Cullari and Chief of International Affairs Donald P. O’Hearn; the New York State
Department of Taxation and Finance; the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles; Detectives
Edwin J. Driscoll and Ronald H. Georg, of the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau; and Detectives
Dominick DiGennaro and James Monaco, of the District Attorney’s NYPD Squad, for their
assistance in the investigation.
Michaelov’s return to Queens County was handled by Senior Assistant District Attorney
Alix Kucker, Supervisor of the District Attorney’s Grand Jury Bureau/Extraditions Unit, and
paralegal Mariska Mooklal, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Therese M.
Lendino, Bureau Chief, and Patricia A. Malloy, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision
of Executive Assistant District Attorney James Quinn and Deputy Executive Assistant District
Attorney Robert J. Masters.
Assistant District Attorney Mary M. Lowenburg, Chief of the District Attorney’s Auto Crime
and Insurance Fraud Unit, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Gerard A. Brave, Chief
of the Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau, and Mark L. Katz, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the
overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and
Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigation Linda M. Cantoni.
It should be noted that an indictment is merely an accusation and that a defendant is
presumed innocent until proven guilty.
No te to E ditor s: Press release e-version p osted at w ww.queensd a.org.