Courtesy of Loose Threads' Facebook page

ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca business owner accused of about $140,000 worth of tax fraud reportedly admitted to investigators that he knowingly underreported his taxes, court records show.

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Jonathan Pargh, 59, owner of the head shop “3-D Light” and the women’s clothing store “Loose Threads,” has been charged with felonies for third-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal tax fraud. Both stores are on the Commons.

Court records show that his wife, Michelle Pargh, operated “Loose Threads” but was unaware of the tax fraud that happened from June 1, 2005 to Aug. 31, 2012. She has not been charged.

The records state, “The defendant (Jonathan 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.’”

Courtesy of Loose Threads’ Facebook page
Courtesy of Loose Threads’ Facebook page

On Nov. 19, 2012, Jonathan Pargh allegedly told a tax auditor he collected sales tax on all sales made at “3-D Light” while the fraud was happening, court records show.

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

In a news release, Schneiderman said “Business owners in New York State must pay their fair share of taxes, not skirt the law to boost their bottom line.”

Pargh was arraigned before Judge Richard Wallace in Ithaca City Court Wednesday before the case was transferred to Tompkins County Court.

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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.