Former Yonkers GOP head Zehy Jereis pled guilty to payroll tax fraud this morning. The plea comes on the day Jereis and former Yonkers councilwoman Sandy Annabi are scheduled to start their prison sentences for bribery. The two were convicted of extortion, bribery and conspiracy back in March of 2012. Annabi is set to receive six years in prison, while Jereis has been sentenced to four.
Investigators say Jereis controlled Annabi's votes while she was on the Yonkers City Council. Jereis gave $200,000 to Annabi, which she spent on loans, housing and a car. The cash payments led Annabi to change her mind and approve projects such as the controversial Yonkers Ridge Hill shopping center.
In court today, Jereis said he was guilty of not paying more than $60,000 in payroll taxes to the IRS. Jereis stiffed the IRS while he was part owner and operator of a Brooklyn gas station. The former Republican party leader copped the plea in White Plains Federal Court this morning.
“Jereis, in two separate cases, has been shown to have used a business plan that included cheating. Businessmen who succeed by committing tax fraud and bribing public officials don’t earn our admiration; they go to prison,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos .
Jereis will be sentenced in connection with today's tax fraud plea on June 4. He could get up three years in prison for the crime.