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Car dealer admits sales tax fraud

A Clarence car dealer pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he cheated the state out of sales tax revenue; bilked other dealerships, auction houses and car buyers; and harassed an ex-girlfriend.

Craig A. Schrutt, 56, of North David Road, East Aurora, who has been jailed since his arrest in August in Genesee County in another case, was told by Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruszka that he faces up to seven years in prison when sentenced Jan. 18.

He was required to sign confessions of judgment for $58,811 to the state Department of Taxation and Finance for sales tax fraud since 2007 and for $125,000 to the other businesses and three used-car buyers.

Schrutt pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny for banking sales tax receipts for the past two years.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts each of third-degree grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument and a felony scheme to defraud charge. These crimes were committed between last October and April.

He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless endangerment for pouring diesel fuel on the engine of a car owned by his former Town of Boston girlfriend at about 8 a.m. April 22 at a Newstead car auction business whose surveillance equipment videotaped him.
Prosecutors Susan H. Sadinsky and Justin T. Wallens said Schrutt operated Carp's Auto Sales at 9735 Main St., Clarence, for about 20 years.

He still faces grand larceny and bad check charges for dealings with a Genesee County dealership this year. He is in jail in lieu of $30,000 bail.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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