Two Soviet Immigrants With Alleged Mob Ties Charged In Gas Fraud
NEW YORK (AP) _ Two immigrants with alleged mob connections have been charged with attempting to bribe an Internal Revenue Service agent in an scheme to evade nearly $3 million in federal gasoline taxes, a newspaper reported today.
Phillip Moskowitz, 57, of Brooklyn, and his business associate, Shae Presaizen, 54, of Queens, both immigrants from the Soviet Union, were charged with paying the undercover agent $37,500 for permits that could help them conceal the tax evasion, the Daily News reported today.
The permits are supposed to be used only by gasoline wholesalers to transfer fuel stocks from one to another without paying the excise tax.
According to court records, agents videotaped Moskowitz, who has previous convictions for burglary, attempted burglary, theft and bank fraud, making two payoffs on July 31 and Aug. 4 at a hotel.
On the tape, Moskowitz brags of his ″strong ties ... to organized crime figures in the Genovese crime organized crime family,″ said Laura Brevetti, assistant chief of the Brooklyn Organized Crime Strike Force.
During two months of monitoring Moskowitz’ operations, investigators found evidence he avoided $2.7 million in federal excise taxes on the sale of 30 million gallons of gasoline, Ms. Brevetti said.
Presaizen’s attorney, Samuel Racer, said his client was an employee of Moskowitz, who heads Stingray Ventures Inc. Racer said his client is innocent of the charges.