A Syosset man who owns six pizzerias in Queens, and several corporations he is involved with, have agreed to pay nearly half a million dollars related to sales tax fraud, according to New York State investigators.
Syed Mehboob, 45, was connected to six Papa John’s pizza franchises in Astoria, Corona, Woodside, Bayside, and Sunnyside, investigators say. He was arrested in August of last year and charged with the theft of several hundred thousand dollars in sales tax for the years 2005 through 2010.
Mehboob pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge and received a conditional discharge at his sentencing. The six franchises he’s involved with, seen in this case as six separate defendants, also pleaded guilty and were fined at sentencing on April 29.
The defendants admitted that they stole $226,017 in sales tax – but with interest, penalty and fines were ordered to a make full restitution to the State of $497,021.
“This is a perfect example of a merchant flagrantly stealing the public’s money – the type of fraud that cheats honest business owners who play by the rules,” said Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox in a statement.