|TRENTON – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that a South Jersey car dealer was indicted today on charges that he filed false tax returns and failed to turn over to the state more than $1.2 million in sales taxes he collected from customers at his four used car dealerships in Cumberland and Gloucester counties.
Nicholas Bidic, 38, of Deerfield, and his company, Bidic LLC (operating as Bidic Autolines), were charged in a five-count state grand jury indictment obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Bidic and his company were charged with purposely failing to turn over sales taxes (2nd degree), filing false or fraudulent sales tax returns (3rd degree), failure to file sales tax returns (3rd degree), and failure to turn over sales taxes (3rd degree). Nicholas Bidic is also charged with misconduct by a corporate official (2nd degree).
An investigation by the New Jersey Division of Taxation, the Division of Criminal Justice and the Motor Vehicle Commission revealed that between April 2008 and January 2011, Bidic allegedly collected $1,237,269 in sales taxes from car buyers that he purposely failed to turn over to the State of New Jersey. The state executed search warrants and seized sales records on Oct. 19, 2010, at Bidic’s two used car dealerships in Vineland and his two dealerships in Bridgeton and Williamstown. Sales records allegedly revealed that Bidic’s net sales were roughly double the amount reported on the sales tax returns he filed with the Division of Taxation.
“This car dealer allegedly doctored his tax records and returns to conceal the fact that he made off with over $1.2 million in sales taxes that he owed the state,” said Attorney General Chiesa. “We will not tolerate dishonest merchants who engage in the type of crime alleged here, which is a fraud against the State of New Jersey and its honest taxpayers.”
“Working with special agents in the Division of Taxation, we are aggressively targeting tax cheats,” said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We have devoted additional personnel and resources to these cases within our Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.”
“Those who seek to enrich themselves through tax evasion should know that they will be brought to justice and made to face the full criminal consequences for their actions,” said State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff. “The vast majority of taxpayers who meet their obligations with honesty and integrity deserve nothing less.”
Bidic is charged with filing false or fraudulent quarterly tax returns for the first quarter of 2008 through the second quarter of 2010, and with failing to file a return for the third quarter of 2010. Businesses must collect the 7 percent state sales tax from customers at the time of purchase as trustee for the state and remit the taxes to the Division of Taxation by the following month. The fifth count of the indictment specifically charges Bidic with failure to pay sales taxes for the first quarter of 2010, because he allegedly wrote four checks to the state totaling $139,765 as monthly tax payments for the quarter, and all four checks were returned for insufficient funds.
Bidic’s four dealerships were shut down from June 18, 2010 to September 15, 2010, as a result of an investigation by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). The investigation was prompted by over 40 complaints from customers who never received titles or tags for vehicles they purchased. When Bidic was permitted to re-open his dealerships in September 2010, under continued monitoring by the MVC, he opened only a single dealership, located on South Delsea Drive in Vineland.
Deputy Attorney General Denise Grugan presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. The case was investigated by Special Agents William Makar and Nicole Schwartz of the Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation, Detective Richard Loufik and Deputy Attorney General Grugan of the Division of Criminal Justice, and Investigator Daniel Pilla of the Motor Vehicle Commission.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Thomas W. Sumners Jr. in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Cumberland County, where the defendants will be ordered to appear in court for arraignment on the charges.