The owner of a Yonkers construction company pleaded guilty in a Manhattan federal court Tuesday to two counts of tax fraud for failing to pay more than $800,000 in income and payroll taxes over two years, federal officials announced.
Tariq Tahir, 66, admitted he underreported nearly $2.2 million in gross receipts and sales for 2006 and 2007 on his income tax returns as owner and operator of DNS Construction Corp. Prosecutors said Tahir cashed checks at multiple check-cashing businesses in Manhattan and Brooklyn rather than depositing them in his company’s bank accounts to conceal revenues from state and federal tax authorities. The construction contractor also paid his employees primarily in cash so that he could omit the payments from federal tax returns without detection by the IRS.
Tahir faces a total maximum sentence of six years in prison, although sentencing guidelines call for two years’ to 30 months’ imprisonment for a defendant like him with no criminal history. As part of his plea agreement, federal officials said, the contractor is required to pay more than $771,000 in restitution to the IRS and more than $112,000 in restitution to New York state.
He is scheduled to be sentenced June 5 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Tahir’s guilty plea was announced by Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Shantelle P. Kitchen, the special agent in charge of the New York field office of the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation division.
“Conducting business in cash for the express purpose of evading taxes does not guarantee that you will avoid detection,” Kitchen said. “Business owners who willfully underreport their business receipts and fail to pay over the correct amount of payroll taxes ultimately place additional burdens on law-abiding taxpayers.”