Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

City's worst scofflaws owe $1.8B in taxes, tickets and fines: Finance Commissioner vows to collect

Scammers, convicted criminals, a slumlord, a mob associate and a local hip-hop label are among the city's worst scofflaws, owing millions in taxes, tickets and fines.
Together with companies that went belly up - or just can't seem to pay their bills - they're among the hundreds of thousands of deadbeats who collectively owe the city $1.8 billion.
Finance Commissioner David Frankel vowed to crack down and collect the cash from all of them. "We're going to come after you as hard as we possibly can," he said.
Among those Frankel will be targeting include:

  • Legendary numbers king "Spanish Raymond" Marquez owes $1.6 million in business taxes that his lawyer-son says he'll never pay. "My father is judgement proof," David Marquez said.

  • The Ruff Ryders hip-hop label, which launched the careers of DMX, the LOX and Eve, owes more than $1 million for plastering the city with 3,400 illegal posters. A lawyer for the company had no comment.

  • A pay phone company called Global Network Communications that went out of business when the city cut ties because of the owner's suspected involvement with the Bonanno crime family, owes $2.9 million in corporate and utility taxes. The owner, Ronald Massie, did not return calls.
  • Also on the list is the Lazzo realty company, which was sued by the city this year for slumlord conditions in one of its buildings.

As are two controversial companies owned by Israeli businessman Raziel Ofer that rent out vacant apartments to tourists.
Ofer, who pleaded guilty to felony theft charges for failing to pay sales tax, now owes the city $3.7 million in hotel taxes for the two companies, Woogo and Global Hotels.
He claims that some of those rooms weren't subject to taxes and expects to make a deal with the city soon. "Every story has got two sides," he said.
Frankel knows that collecting money from folks who've let their debts skyrocket is a tough task.
The News tried to contact all of the deadbeats on the city's list and found many companies out of business or difficult to locate. Others denied their debts.
"My father is always going to be on the list. He's never going to pay them," said David Marquez of his convicted gambling boss dad. "He has no assets in his name and the city can't get something from somebody that doesn't have any assets."
Two of the outfits that owe the most in sanitation fines are Gilman Vadim, which has papered the city with 9,700 ads for cheap moving companies, and a firm called Rasty Nir that's been slammed with 1,400 violations for slipping locksmith ads in doorways.
Both have owed money for years but seem to hide their identities with disposable cell phones, fake addresses and shell corporations.
Frankel says the city is ramping up its efforts to collect from scofflaws with better technology, outside collection companies and a push to make it harder for deadbeats to receive city services, such as permits.
The city's total outstanding debt has dropped slightly from $1.9 billion last year, but city collections still run into roadblocks.
"The likelihood that we'll find a major criminal's assets that are tucked away in Switzerland somewhere isn't high," Frankel conceded.
Lawmakers say the city must explore new ways to squeeze some dough out of the deadbeats.
"The city is trying [to collect] but it has to do more," said City Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx), who has proposed legislation to bar companies from getting new permits until they've paid up. "Knowing the fiscal times we have ahead, I don't think we have a choice but to do this and do this quickly."


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