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What you need to know for 01/20/2017

Builder avoids jail, ordered to pay $200G in back taxes, fees

Builder avoids jail, ordered to pay $200G in back taxes, fees

Saratoga Springs builder David Jelenik was ordered Tuesday morning to pay $200,000 to the state Depa

Saratoga Springs builder David Jelenik was ordered Tuesday morning to pay $200,000 to the state Department of Taxation and Finance after his guilty plea this summer to failing to pay taxes.

Jelenik, 52, of 176 Fifth Ave., who pleaded guilty to attempted repeated failure to file personal income tax returns, a misdemeanor, and entered a guilty plea for his business, Jelenik Construction Co., to fourth-degree criminal tax fraud, a felony, won’t have to spend any time in jail under the agreement reached with the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office. He was placed on three years’ probation by Saratoga County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano and ordered to pay $200,000 in owed taxes, plus a surcharge, by the fall of 2016.

If Jelenik fails to repay the money, he could end up spending four years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Debra Kaelin, who prosecuted the case, said the ultimate goal was payment of what was owed to the state. District Attorney James A. Murphy II added in a statement: “Jelenik’s failure to file and pay taxes in a timely manner allowed him to live a lifestyle at the expense of the taxpayers of Saratoga County.”

According to a news release from the county, the state tax department was satisfied with the sentencing.

The felony will not go on Jelenik’s criminal record, since it was committed by his company. It relates to his not paying taxes as president of Jelenik Construction Co. from 2005-08. The misdemeanor relates to his not filing personal income tax returns as an employee of his company from 2005-07. Jelenik filed the personal returns after his arrest in January 2012.

Jelenik and his attorney, Andrew Safranko, left court Tuesday morning without speaking to the media. Safranko previously said Jelenik’s tax mistake was due to bad advice from a bookkeeper and accountant. He previously noted Jelenik’s actual tax liability was less than $90,000, but penalties and interest more than doubled the amount owed.

Jelenik started his business in 1990. He is currently CEO of Jellco Construction, a business name he recorded with the Department of State in late 2010.

The builder also has faced civil cases and foreclosures filed in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County.

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