A Huntington jeweler was sentenced Wednesday to three years probation for failure to remit sales taxes, and ordered to pay $97,825, the state tax department said.
Peter Messina, 62, of Northport, owner of Messina Brothers New York, a jewelry store at 251 Main St., Huntington, was sentenced in Suffolk County Court, the department said Thursday.
He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of petty larceny, He failed to report taxable sales in the amount of $731,473, the state Department of Taxation said. As part of his sentencing, he agreed to pay the state the back tax of $48,569 during his probation, plus $49,256 in penalties and interest, bringing the total restitution to $97,825.
The case was investigated by the Tax Department’s Criminal Investigation Division and prosecuted by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.
“We thank District Attorney Thomas J. Spota and his team for his prosecution of this case,” said Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox. “Businesses that collect sales tax hold those funds in trust for the State and local governments. Our Department – with the cooperation of local authorities – will vigorously investigate anyone who violates this trust by profiting from these funds.”