An Oceanside man has been convicted for felony tax fraud related to his ownership and operation of two Nassau County collision repair shops.
On August 2, Jose Cardona, 45, was sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation after having already paid more than $700,000 in restitution. Cardona’s two businesses previously pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud charges, and his wife — Veronica Cardona, 44, also of Oceanside — previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor false filing charge related to a fraudulent personal income tax return.
“When individuals and businesses line their pockets with tax money, they steal services and resources from New Yorkers,” said New York State Attorney General Letitia James. “Jose Cardona and his businesses took advantage of taxpayers and tried to cheat our state out of over half a million dollars. My office will continue to protect New York taxpayers and ensure public resources are used for their intended purposes.”
“By fraudulently disregarding his tax obligations, Mr. Cardona violated the trust of his customers, deprived his own community of revenue needed for vital programs and services, and put other businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said Acting NYS Tax Commissioner Amanda Hiller. “We’ll continue to work with all levels of law enforcement to bring tax criminals to justice.”
Jose Cardona was the owner and operator of two collision centers: No Limit Auto Body, Inc., also known as Perry’s Hub Auto Care — located at 10 Jerusalem Avenue in Hempstead — and Henry Street Auto Body, Inc., also known as No Limit Auto Body II, located at 110 Henry Street in Freeport. A joint investigation by the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Auto Insurance Fraud Unit and the Department of Taxation and Finance revealed that Cardona and No Limit Auto Body collected but failed to remit to New York state over $584,000 in sales taxes between June 2010 and May 2016, and that Cardona and Henry Street Auto Body collected, but failed to remit, over $117,000 in sales tax between June 2011 and November 2015.
Cardona previously pleaded guilty to one count each of third-degree criminal tax fraud (a Class D felony) and fourth-degree criminal tax fraud (a Class E felony). Pursuant to his pleas, Cardona paid more than $700,000 in restitution to the Tax Department prior to being sentenced.
In addition to sales tax fraud, Cardona and his wife, Veronica, were both charged with filing a false personal income tax return for 2011 and failing to file personal income tax returns for 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 — thereby underpaying over $204,000 in personal income taxes.
Additionally, prosecutors previously charged No Limit employee Peter Bifolco with felony insurance fraud for adding additional damage to a car brought to the shop and then billing more than $3,000 in unnecessary repairs.
Veronica Cardona, Bifolco, and Cardona’s two businesses previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced before Acting Supreme Court Justice Berkowitz in Nassau County. Henry Street Auto Body pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree tax fraud, and No Limit Auto Body pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree tax fraud and one count of first-degree falsifying business records (a Class E felony). Veronica Cardona pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree offering a false instrument (a Class A misdemeanor), and Bifolco pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief (a Class A misdemeanor). The defendants were previously sentenced to a conditional discharge.