Monday, June 26, 2006

Sam Waksal Sales Tax Evasion

The New York Law Journal has a report ($) this morning on the New York State Division of Tax Appeals' affirmance of a fraud penalty against ImClone founder (and Martha Stewart pal) Sam Waksal for failing to pay sales taxes on over $15 million worth of art. Waksal is currently serving a seven-year federal prison sentence for insider trading. As part of his insider trading guilty plea, he admitted that he bought works from a gallery in Manhattan but had the invoices sent to an address in New Jersey to evade New York taxes. New York State followed up by assessing sales and use taxes, plus fraud penalties (and interest), amounting to more than $1.8 million. The court rejected Waksal's claim that he only did what "many, many" others have done and was therefore being singled out for unduly harsh treatment: "[T]here is absolutely no basis to conclude that the Tax Law has been selectively enforced against petitioner."