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Former Geneva comptroller faces charges

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward on Friday said Tara J. Clark, the former comptroller for the City of Geneva, and her husband, Ronald A. Clark, a Geneva water operator, were charged with failing to file joint personal income tax returns from 2004 through 2007.

Clark, 41, and her husband, Ronald, 41, of 20 John St., Geneva, also face a felony charge of fourth-degree criminal tax fraud for failing to file their 2008 income tax return while owing more than $3,000 in tax.

Both charges, filed in Geneva City Court, are part of an on-going statewide crackdown on individuals who evade taxes by failing to file income tax returns.

Clark was Geneva’s comptroller from 2003 until late 2009 with an annual salary of more than $60,000 while her husband earned $40,000 annually, according to a release from the department. On joint personal income tax returns filed after a criminal investigation was under way by the Department of Taxation and Finance, the Clarks reported income of $509,422 from 2004 through 2008 and tax due of $11,061.

In addition to the non-filing charges, the felony complaint charges Clark with multiple counts of tampering with public records, class D felonies, under the state Penal Law, as well as numerous class E felonies of falsifying records, offering false instruments for filing and computer tampering. Under those counts, the department alleges that while Clark served as comptroller, she made illegal entries in the city’s payroll computer software program that increased withholding allowances for both parties in order to decrease the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks.

The Clarks are scheduled to be arraigned before Geneva City Court Judge Elisabeth A. Toole on April 8. Each of the class D felony charges filed against Clark carry up to seven years in state prison while the class E felony counts carry four year prison terms.