Barbera charged with tax fraud

Gary Barbera, the prominent local car dealership owner, was charged today by the U.S. Attorney with committing tax fraud in 2003 and 2004.

Barbera, 45,  is accused of underreporting income from two of his dealerships -- Barbera Dodgeland, on Ridge Avenue near Fairthorne Avenue in Roxborough, and Barbera Chryslerland, on Roosevelt Boulevard near Borbeck Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia -- to the tune of $77,675. Investigators from the IRS found that Barbera had allegedly used his car dealerships to pay some personal expenses.

"The license to run a business is not a license to avoid paying taxes like the rest of us," U.S. Attorney Michael Levy said.

"Honest, hardworking Americans pay the price when others conceal their income to avoid paying taxes," said Troy Stemen, the IRS Criminal Investigation acting special agent-in-charge.

Barbera could face three years in prison, three years of supervised released and a $250,000 fine.