State pursuit of tax evaders beefed up with investigators

Friday, April 12, 2013
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— Two veteran law enforcement officials are now leading a joint effort to root out tax evasion in New York state.

The state Department of Taxation and Finance on Friday announced an expansion of its partnership with state police and the addition of two investigators with more than 50 years combined experience.

Risa S. Sugarman was appointed deputy commissioner for criminal enforcement and Christopher A. Ammirati was appointed director of investigations, according to a news release.

Sugarman, a former homicide division prosecutor in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, has served for more than 30 years in law enforcement, most recently as deputy commissioner and director of the office of sex offender management at the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services.

She assumes overall responsibility for the department’s criminal investigation programs and operations.

Ammirati brings experience in complex international criminal investigations involving money laundering, corruption and other financial fraud. He has held leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including as deputy chief of the organized drug enforcement task force and director of the El Dorado money laundering task force.

Ammirati will supervise investigations as well as auditors at the Taxation and Finance criminal investigations division.

The department is now expanding its relationship with state police, which began in 2011 focusing on cigarette tax enforcement.

That effort is estimated to have saved the state $20 million that would have been lost to illegal cigarette trafficking.

“The combined efforts of our investigators have had a significant impact in terms of cigarette tax enforcement,” state police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said in the release. “Under this new agreement, we will accelerate tax enforcement actions and better protect new Yorkers from tax criminals.”

Under a new agreement announced Friday, state police investigators will begin working alongside the department’s current criminal investigations staff members.

The agreement will expand the effort to include all violations of the state’s tax law, which includes sales and income tax fraud.

 

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