The owner of Wings Over Ithaca has been charged with 26 felony counts of tax evasion.
Bruce McPherson, the owner of M&C Wings LLC pleaded not guilty to all of the charges in Albany City Court on Oct. 11. McPherson was charged with second-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal tax fraud, four counts of third-degree criminal tax fraud and 20 counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, according to the New York state Department of Taxation and Finance.
McPherson allegedly falsified documents to avoid paying over $220,000 in taxes between December 2010 and May 2015, according to the statement. If convicted, McPherson faces up to 15 years in prison.
The Albany County Financial Crimes Unit is investigating McPherson, said Cecilia Walsh, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.
McPherson was charged in Albany County, as the Department of Taxation and Finance office is located there, she said.
Wings Over Ithaca is located at 335 Pine Tree Road in Ithaca.
James Gazzale, spokesman for the state Department of Taxation and Finance, said McPherson should have been aware that charges were a possibility because the department communicates violations with businesses ahead of time.
“Any time there is a business that could possibly be not remitting sales tax, as it is alleged in this case, we’re in constant communication with business owners long before criminal charges are filed,” he said. “This should’ve not come as any surprise to the defendant.”
Gazzale said he cannot disclose the investigation process or how the alleged tax fraud was uncovered
McPherson was not immediately available for comment.