ITHACA, N.Y. — The owner of an Ithaca head shop has been accused of failing to pay $130,000 in taxes to New York state from 2005 to 2012.

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Jonathan Pargh, owner of the head shop “3-D Light” and the women’s clothing store “Loose Threads,” has been charged with third-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal tax fraud. Both stores are on the Commons.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone announced the charges on Wednesday.

Pargh, 59, is accused of “underreporting taxable sales and sales tax due” between 2005 and 2012, according to Schneiderman’s office. Pargh operated both businesses as sole proprietorships, the news release said.

“Business owners in New York State must pay their fair share of taxes, not skirt the law to boost their bottom line,” said Schneiderman in a news release. “My office will continue working with Commissioner Boone to root out tax fraud and hold unscrupulous business owners accountable.”

Photo courtesy of Loose Threads’ Facebook page
Photo courtesy of Loose Threads’ Facebook page

Pargh was arraigned before Judge Richard Wallace in Ithaca City Court today. The case has been transferred to Tompkins County Court.

From the news release:

An investigation by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance revealed that between June 1, 2005 and August 31, 2012, Pargh underreported taxable sales for both 3-D Light and Loose Threads in the amount of $1,152,856.47. Pargh also underreported gross business income on his New York State personal income tax returns for both retail stores, which were subject to income tax under the Tax Law, in the amount of $632,383.20. As a result, between June 1, 2005 and August 31, 2012, Pargh failed to remit sales tax due to the State of New York in the amount of $86,420.11 and failed to remit personal income tax due to the State of New York in the amount of $48,764.00.

The case was investigated by Department of Taxation and Finance Assistant Chief Investigator David Pohle, with analytical support from Auditor Lee Shepter, and by Attorney General Investigator Joel Cordone, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Investigator Antoine Karam. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Andrew Tarkowski of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. The Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Gary Fishman and Deputy Chiefs Stephanie Swenton and Meryl Lutsky. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.