Gerard Terry, Former Chairman of the North Hempstead Democratic Party and Nassau County Board of Elections, Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Tax Evasion
Defendant Evaded Over $1.3 Million in Federal Tax Due While Holding at Least Six Government Jobs
Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Gerard Terry, former Chairman of the Democratic Party in North Hempstead and head of the Nassau County Board of Elections, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years’ supervised release, $992,057 in restitution and $31,000 in forfeiture, following his guilty plea on October 12, 2017 to tax evasion. The sentencing proceeding was held before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS-CI), announced the sentence.
“Gerard Terry lived by a different standard than the taxpayers he served, taking money from them in payment for the numerous governmental and quasi-governmental jobs he held, while failing to pay the taxes he owed on those jobs,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to work to ensure that there is one standard and one standard only — that taxpayers, regardless of who they are, will have to pay their fair share or be held to account.”
“While reaping the benefits of a salary funded by taxpayer dollars, Gerard Terry rendered himself exempt from paying taxes on this earned income,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “It seems today he has learned his lesson—the time to pay up has come.”
“Our politicians and county officials hold positions of trust in the eyes of the public,” stated IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Robnett.” “Mr. Terry, a licensed attorney, went to great lengths to evade his tax obligations with the United States, but he ultimately hurt all American citizens who work for a living and pay their fair share for the government services and protections we enjoy.”
Terry, an attorney licensed to practice in New York State, willfully evaded substantial income tax owed by him, having earned income from numerous government and quasi-government positions in Nassau County, including the Democratic Party in the Town of North Hempstead, the Nassau County Board of Elections, the Town of North Hempstead, the Long Beach Housing Authority, the North Hempstead Housing Authority, the Freeport Community Development Agency, the Roosevelt Public Library, the Village of Port Washington, and the Village of Manorhaven. Since January 2000, Terry has failed to pay a federal tax debt of almost $1.4 million, despite earning over $250,000 per year.
According to court documents, during the period charged in the indictment, Terry failed to file personal Form 1040 tax returns, filing years later and only after vigorous pursuit by the IRS. Even then, Terry filed Forms 1040 that contained false information and failed to report income. Terry has still failed to file returns for tax years 2009 and 2010.
Terry also evaded the IRS’s attempts at levy collection, cashing hundreds of wage and compensation checks worth over $500,000, rather than depositing them into checking or savings accounts where they could be seized. When he did deposit checks into his checking account, he did so in the minimum amounts necessary to cover checks and payments for his own personal expenses, making sure there were not sufficient funds upon which the IRS could levy. Terry also created and utilized a checking account in the name of a corporate shell and had one of his employers make direct payments to his credit card rather than issuing him a paycheck. He also pressured colleagues at his various government and publicly funded jobs not to report wages paid to him and not to comply with IRS notices of levy.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney Artie McConnell is in charge of the prosecution.
Roslyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-37 (JS)