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October 19, 2010

"Tax cheat sentenced to serve … pizzas"

The title of this post is the headline of this tasty local alternative sentencing story.  Here are the details:

Starting tonight and continuing every Tuesday for the next year, the more than 100 nightly diners at the Buffalo City Mission will feast on pizza -- thanks to State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia and a tax cheat.

Joseph J. Jacobbi, 57, operator of Casa-Di-Pizza, a popular Elmwood Avenue restaurant, was spared a jail term on his massive sales tax fraud case, but the judge Monday ordered him to deliver 12 sheet pizzas to the City Mission once a week on Tuesdays for the next 52 weeks, beginning tonight.

After Jacobbi turned over a check for $25,000 -- part of the $104,295.31 court officials said he withheld from the state between March 2004 and the end of May 2008 -- the judge ordered the weekly pizza deliveries as a form of community service. "I will leave the choice of toppings up to you," he told the nonplussed restaurant owner.

Though the judge declined to comment afterward, court officials said he felt that with the city's increasing number of out-of-work and homeless people, the pizza penalty would be a way to help the community's neediest in a very direct manner....

Gary M. Ertel, head of the district attorney's Crimes Against Revenue Bureau, said that as part of an Aug. 19 guilty plea to third-degree grand larceny, Jacobbi came to court with an initial payment of $26,073. Monthly restitution payments will also cover processing costs. Jacobbi, who declined to comment after the sentencing, had been facing a prison term of up to seven years on the sales tax crime.

October 19, 2010 at 03:11 PM | Permalink

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Comments

The question of tax advantage who gets to benefit has reached the point of absurdity. I visit this pizza shop with my kids on occassion since he has marketing gimmick in which children can make their own pizza. A few days after this story was published in the local paper there was an unrelated article on the application of a local wealthy businessman asking for a
$200,000 sales tax exemption for renovation work in his Hyatt Hotel in downtown Buffalo. The request was filed through the local industrial development agency. I called the agency up and had a conversation juxtaposing the goals of each individual which was to avoid sales taxes. I don't know what the pizza owner did with the money, employee raises?, equipment? or personal trips? But I do not know what the the Hyatt owner is going to do either. It is the third time over the last twenty years that he has been to the public trough for financing, loan forgiveness, fiscal grants from the government etc.
As just a homeowner in the area my view is that the hotel owner is the beneficiary of shifting the costs of government and running his business onto other private citizens and businesses. Government provides services by collecting taxes in a just manner or unjust manner. In NYS it is allegedly written that government should not be investing in private ownership but it happens constantly. Somehow I feel that the little policially unconnected citizens is increasingly being asked to subsidize businesses that have political connections. The philosophy starts on a local level and the moves to the national level in to big to fail banks.

Posted by: Jay | Nov 8, 2010 6:51:09 AM

I like that:
Gary M. Ertel, head of the district attorney's Crimes Against Revenue Bureau, said that as part of an Aug. 19 guilty plea to third-degree grand larceny, Jacobbi came to court with an initial payment of $26,073. Monthly restitution payments will also cover processing costs. Jacobbi, who declined to comment after the sentencing, had been facing a prison term of up to seven years on the sales tax crime.

Posted by: Jordan Retro | Nov 14, 2010 1:24:29 AM

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