A former Williamsville auto dealer will have to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid sales tax and serve weekends in jail for the next two months, under a sentence handed down Wednesday by State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang.
Besides weekends in jail, Michael Wolfberg will be on probation for five years and have to repay more than $627,000 in sales-tax debt from his now-defunct Premium Auto Sales dealership in Williamsville, said Assistant District Attorney James Quinn Auricchio.
Wolfberg, 60, of Williamsville, pleaded guilty in April to second-degree grand larceny, after a state investigation accused him of collecting but not paying nearly $734,000 in sales tax on the luxury vehicles he sold between 2003 to 2005, the district attorney's office said.
Since then, Wolfberg has paid back more than $104,000 and is selling some property to help repay his tax debt, said his attorney, Edward C. Cosgrove. The weekend sentence allows Wolfberg, who now works for another auto dealership, to continue working to help repay the rest of the money, Cosgrove said.
Cosgrove called the punishment "just" for his client, who is well known in the community and publicly embarrassed by the sales-tax fraud case.
Cosgrove said his client got into financial trouble in 2001 and 2002, when he took on too much debt from the business and couldn't handle the interest.
Wolfberg will begin his weekend sentence this Friday, Cosgrove said.