Deadbeat butt-head owes 'red' state NY $19M
By FREDRIC U. DICKER and MAGGIE HABERMAN, NY Post
The No. 1 New York state tax deadbeat is a Queens man who owes an eye-popping $19 million on cigarette taxes, newly released records show.
Gui Hong Chen, an Elmhurst man according to state records, tops the list of 200 corporate tax deadbeats, which was released along with the 200 top personal income tax cheats.
Chen owes $19,049,250, records show.
Gov. Paterson has said he wants to create a tax amnesty program to help reap the hundreds of millions in back taxes for the state's budget as it swims in red ink.
But he'll have a tough time collecting from Chen, 31, who recently served time in a federal pen for a raft of charges including trafficking in contraband cigarettes and dealing counterfeit tax stamps, according to state tax officials and the federal Bureau of Prisons.
A prisons spokesman said he was released last February to federal immigration officials, who didn't immediately respond to calls for comment.
In February 2007 he was busted in Alaska by US Customs agents trying to flee the country.
Other names of note on the list of personal income tax delinquents is the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has a new debt notice of more than $100,000 and an overall debt of nearly $1 million.
From the NY Times:
Desperate for cash amid the worst fiscal crisis in years, New York State is pursuing tax debtors more aggressively than ever before, doubling the number of cases it is investigating and seeking to collect from delinquents ranging from JPMorgan Chase to an out-of-business convenience store on the Bowery.
Since the start of 2008, the state has filed more than 340,000 tax “warrants,” public notices of delinquency that can make it harder to get loans or sell property and can lead to garnished wages or even forfeiture proceedings. By the end of this year the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance will have filed the largest number of warrants ever in a single year and settled about a million open cases, the most in state history.