Former Yonkers Tax Clerk Lionel Thomas Allegedly Levied His Own Fees

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WCDA-020713-lionel thomasYONKERS, NY — February 7, 2013 — Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore today announced that Lionel Thomas (DOB 03/15/77) of 421 North Broadway, Yonkers, New York, was arraigned on a Felony Complaint charging him with:

  • one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony.


 


Between October 31, 2012 and November 29, 2012, the defendant, a former employee of the City of Yonkers Taxation and Finance Department, located at 40 South Broadway in Yonkers, engaged in a scheme defrauding a number of tax payers of the City of Yonkers.

On six separate occasions, the defendant demanded and received cash “fees” for processing legitimate tax payments from Yonkers’ residents.  The defendant did not have the authority to charge the “fees” and withheld the “fees” from the City of Yonkers.

Specifically, on October 31, 2012, the defendant fraudulently induced one taxpayer to pay him a $380.00 surcharge in “late fees” on the victim’s taxes, when in fact no such late fees were properly chargeable.

In similar fashion, the defendant fraudulently induced another taxpayer on November 15, 2012 to pay him a $250.00 surcharge in cash for late fees on taxes.

On November 27, 2012 the defendant fraudulently induced a third taxpayer to pay him a $360.00 surcharge in cash for late fees on taxes.

On November 28, 2012 the defendant fraudulently induced a fourth taxpayer to pay him a $320.00 surcharge in cash for late fees on taxes.

On November 28, 2012 the defendant fraudulently induced a fifth taxpayer to pay him a $220.00 surcharge in cash for late fees on taxes.

And on November 29, 2012 the defendant fraudulently induced a sixth taxpayer to pay him a $360.00 surcharge in cash for late fees on taxes.  
After the victim would pay the “fee” in cash, the defendant would issue an official looking “receipt” for the money.

The scheme unraveled when one of the victims thought the cash “fee’ to be suspicious and called the Department of Taxation and Finance asking about the policy.

The investigation by the Yonkers police department is continuing and further victims of this fraud are anticipated.

“At a time when the City of Yonkers is cutting services to balance its budget, collecting legitimate tax revenue matters now more than ever. Although no one enjoys paying taxes, citizens of Yonkers should feel confident that their hard earned money is going to finance their quality of life and services and not into the pocket of a City employee who established his own taxing authority,” said District Attorney Janet DiFiore after the defendant was arraigned.

The defendant was released on his own recognizance.

The defendant’s next court date is March 28th, 2013.

He faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Conway, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau, is prosecuting the case.

Reference: EXPOSE: Yonkers Department of Finance – Cover-ups Continue Behind Closed Doors By HEZI ARIS 

eHeziFormer Yonkers Tax Clerk Lionel Thomas Allegedly Levied His Own Fees

Comments 18

  1. Under Liszewski “careful watch” everyone in Finance is getting away with fraud, harassment,discrimination and every other kind of felony. Let me remind you that if Mike wants to bring law and order to City Hall all he has to do is ask his commissioners. How long do we have to wait? Wake up Mike!!!!

  2. whatever was happening happened under the previous administration. I can only imagine what spano found upon taking office. Meanwhile, what happened to the other clerk in this office who had $1.3M in taxpayer real estate payments in his desk for more than one year, with no refunds to the taxpayer for the late-fee penalties imposed upon those whose checks were in this guy’s drawer?

  3. In my dealings with the tax office over twenty years,It was almost impossible to get any of the fat asses up to give you any help at all. Yet, two times in those twenty years this gentelman helped me with professionalism and a helpful attitude. So,if true he took $1900, How much have all the other fat asses taken from us taxpayers by not wanting to get out of their chairs. Just Saying.

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