ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca businessman pleaded guilty Friday afternoon to committing over $130,000 worth of tax fraud over about a seven-year period.

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Jonathan Pargh, owner of the head shop “3-D Light” and the women’s clothing store “Loose Threads” on the Commons, pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny as part of a plea deal to land him three years of probation. He could have faced a prison sentence of 28 months to seven years.

Pargh was originally charged with felonies for third-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal tax fraud.

Court records stated, “The defendant (Pargh) then admitted to that he provided ‘imaginary’ sales figures to Michelle Pargh for use in the preparation of the sales tax returns, that he knowingly under-reported the taxable sales of 3-D Light, and that his underreporting was motivated by ‘greed.’”

Officials said that, prior to the plea deal, Pargh repaid $86,420.11 in sales tax, $48,764.00 in personal income tax and about $154,561.86 in penalties and interest to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

“When businesses and individuals dodge paying taxes it unfairly shifts the burden to honest, law-abiding taxpayers,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a news release Friday. “Today’s conviction makes it clear that when unscrupulous business owners break the law, they will be held accountable.”

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.