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Department of Taxation and Finance

Operator of Wings Over Ithaca Charged with 20 Counts of Tax Fraud Restaurateur allegedly owes the state more than $220,000 in sales tax

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

Bruce McPherson
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced that a Massachusetts resident who operates a restaurant in Tompkins County has been arraigned and charged with 26 felonies for sales tax evasion.

Bruce McPherson, 47, of 15 Rogers Avenue, West Springfield, appeared before the Honorable Gary F. Stiglmeier in Albany City Court and pleaded not guilty. He was charged with 2nd degree grand larceny, 2nd degree criminal tax fraud, four counts of 3rd degree criminal tax fraud, and 20 counts of 1st degree offering a false instrument for filing.

The defendant owns and operates M & C Wings, LLC, doing business as Wings Over Ithaca, located at 335 Pine Tree Road in Ithaca.

The felony complaint alleges that the business, from December 2010 through May 2015, submitted sales tax returns to the Tax Department knowing the returns purposely understated the amount of tax owed the state by at least $221,601.

“As this case shows, we take these accusations very seriously and will go to great lengths to ensure that those who fail to meet their obligation to collect and pay NYS sales tax face justice,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. 

If convicted, McPherson faces up to 15 years in prison and possible civil fraud penalties that are double the taxes determined to be owed.

The Albany County District Attorney will prosecute the case. The next court date has yet to be scheduled. A criminal complaint is only an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Read more here on sales that are taxable at restaurants, taverns, and similar establishments.

New Yorkers aware of sales tax evasion or fraud can report it online or by calling 518-457-0578. The information is kept confidential. The Tax Department takes this type of illegal activity seriously, promptly reviews each complaint, and takes corrective action when appropriate.