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Elvin Singh Sentenced to Prison for Criminal Tax Fraud and Criminal Possession of Weapon Felonies

District Attorney

SCHENECTADY, NY (May 21, 2024)  Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney announced today that on May 20, 2024, Elvin Singh, a 37-year old Schenectady resident, was sentenced in connection with his plea of guilty to one count of Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 2nd Degree, a Class D violent felony, and one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the 3rd Degree, a Class D non-violent felony.

Following a lengthy investigation conducted by members of the FBI Joint-Terrorism Task Force, the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office, and the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Singh was charged in a 35-count indictment with stealing sales tax monies from his customers, selling counterfeited products, and unlawfully possessing a loaded handgun.  Undercover officers purchased multiple counterfeit designer items from Mr. Singh’s cellphone repair store located in the City of Schenectady.  Further investigation into Mr. Singh and his business showed that the business was severely under-reporting its taxable sales.  The reason was clear:  for at least 4 years, Mr. Singh was pocketing the sales tax his business had been collecting from its customers.  Ultimately, law enforcement officers executed search warrants on Mr. Singh’s business and his home residence.  During their search, law enforcement seized hundreds of counterfeit products and $40,000 in cash.  Law enforcement also recovered a loaded .38 caliber handgun from Mr. Singh’s bedroom.

During the investigation, it was also discovered that one of Mr. Singh’s employees, Milton Howard, was committing welfare fraud by claiming to be unemployed while working off-the-books for Mr. Singh.  During the search warrant, police seized numerous business records, including time-sheets and work schedules showing when Mr. Howard had worked.  Mr. Howard was charged with felony Welfare Fraud, since he would not have been entitled to any public assistance benefits had he disclosed his employment income. 

In an effort to help their friend and their employer, two of Mr. Singh’s employees provided false testimony before a Schenectady County Grand Jury, claiming that Mr. Howard did not begin working for Mr. Singh until some time after the alleged welfare fraud occurred.  The employees were indicted for perjury.  Another witness refused to be sworn as a grand jury witness, for which the witness was indicted and ultimately convicted of Criminal Contempt in the 1st Degree, a felony.  Despite these unsuccessful efforts which all resulted in criminal convictions, Mr. Howard received a sentence of 1.5 to 3 years in state prison for stealing public assistance benefits.

In accordance with the terms of his plea agreement, Schenectady County Court Judge Matthew J. Sypniewski sentenced Mr. Singh to 2 years in state prison in connection with his weapons conviction and 1 to 3 years in state prison in connection with his criminal tax fraud conviction.  Mr. Singh forfeited more than $40,000 in cash and also paid $50,000 toward the restitution he owes to New York State.  Mr. Singh’s company entered into a Non-Prosecution and Corporate Integrity Agreement with the District Attorney’s Office in which Mr. Singh and his company will continue to repay the remaining approx. $50,000 in restitution.  The company is also required to submit annual certifications by a CPA affirming compliance with tax reporting obligations.  In exchange for these commitments, the District Attorney’s Office agreed not to pursue any additional charges against the company.

District Attorney Carney stated, “These cases demonstrate the fact that people who are willing to commit fraud of one type often will commit others.  It is important to dig through the layers of criminality not unlike peeling an onion.  William Lemon and his colleagues in my Financial Crimes Bureau are experts at doing this work to the great benefit of our community.”