N.J. AG settles with cancer charity over alleged sales tax violations

Bryan Cohen Sep. 18, 2012, 2:47pm


NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced a settlement on Monday with a cancer charity that allegedly used its tax exempt status to purchase millions of dollars worth of luxury cars without paying sales tax.

The state alleged that Patrick J. Caffrey of Keansburg was the president of the Matawan-based Tri county Charity Center. The charity allegedly conspired with Carl F. Monto and Denise Monto, his wife, of Beachwood, and I Buy Cars For You LLC to purchase cars in the name of the charity, which were then shipped to Europe, Asia and North America.

"The defendants allegedly created an elaborate ruse, abusing the 501(c)(3) status of a purported charity in order to buy and export millions of dollars' worth of luxury vehicles," Chiesa said. "What is particularly galling is that, as alleged in our lawsuit, the defendants claimed to be raising money for cancer patients. Our settlement agreement fulfills that promise by requiring donations for a medical treatment and research center."

Carl Monto allegedly used false identities and fraudulent driver's licenses to purchase dozens of vehicles on Tri County's behalf. Monto used the charity's 501(c)(3) status to evade paying sales tax with Caffrey's knowledge and approval, Chiesa says. Caffrey, in exchange, allegedly donated $100 per vehicle to Tri County.

Under terms of the settlement, the defendants paid $25,000 this week as part of a total required payment of $65,000. Of that total, Caffrey paid $10,000, Denise Monto paid $$5,000 and Carl Monto paid $2,500. An additional $7,500 was paid from the assets of I Buy Cars For You.

The defendants agreed to pay $18,000 to the NYU Langone Medical Center to aid families and individuals battling cancer.

Caffrey also agreed to provide proof that Try County was fully dissolved as a charitable organization and will not serve in any leadership position in a charity operating or soliciting in New Jersey.

The Montos agreed to provide proof that I Buy Cars For You has been dissolved and its website shut down.

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