Falls business owner accused of felony tax fraud

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – The owner of Gui’s Lumber and Home Center in Niagara Falls has been charged with stealing about $589,000 in sales tax over a four-year period.

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance says 63-year-old Gail Villani collected taxes from her customers from 2005 to 2009, but failed to send the funds to the state.

Villani, who is from Grand Island, is charged with second-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal tax fraud and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies. If convicted, she could face up to 15 years in state prison.

She is currently free on bail and is due back in court in October.

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