Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

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Larchmont Couple Arraigned on Tax Charges

A Larchmont couple was arraigned on charges of grand larceny and failure to file personal and business taxes on July 6 before Larchmont Village Justice Thea Beaver.

According to the Westchester District Attorney’s office, Denise and Christopher MacDonald, of Jochum Avenue in Larchmont Village, have failed to file their personal tax returns since 2004. They also collected New York State sales taxes on their businesses from 1998 to 2010 but failed to remit them to the state.

Charges were also filed against three businesses owned and operated by the MacDonalds. Cumulatively, the unpaid personal and business taxes are alleged to total over $500,000.

Chris and Denise MacDonald

Denise MacDonald, 48, operates Twinkle Toes Baby, Inc, a children’s apparel business with shops at 1943 Palmer Avenue in the Village of Larchmont and at 1005 Boston Post Road in Rye. The first Twinkle Toes shop opened on Larchmont Avenue over twenty years ago. Ms. MacDonald also runs Wish Home Styles, Inc., a home furnishings store at at 3 Purdy Avenue in Rye.

Chris MacDonald, 53, has operated his landscaping business, C.W.M. Horticultural Services, since 1992. He has numerous clients in Larchmont and surrounding communities.

The felony charges against Ms. MacDonald include: two counts of grand larceny (second degree); one count of grand larceny third degree); two counts of repeated failure to file personal tax returns; and one count of repeated failure to file corporate returns.
The charges against Mr. MacDonald are one count of grand larceny (second degree) and two counts of repeated failure to file personal tax returns.

C.W.M. Horticultural Services, Inc. and Wish Home Styles, Inc, are each charged with one count of grand larceny. Twinkle Toes Inc. is charged with grand larceny and repeated failure to file a corporate return.

The charges came after a 12 month investigation by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Westchester District Attorney’s office.

The MacDonalds face a maximum of five to fifteen years in state prison on the top charge. Judge Beaver set bail at $10,000 cash for Ms. MacDonald and $5,000 cash for Mr. MacDonald. The couple is due back in Larchmont Village Court on September 28, 2010.

Asked for their side of the story, the MacDonalds referred the matter to their attorney, Henry Korn. He declined to comment, except to say, “The matter will be resolved in court.”

Both of the MacDonalds have been active community volunteers.

“Chris MacDonald and his family are life-long residents of Larchmont,” noted Larchmont Trustee Marlene Kolbert. “Chris has, over the years, contributed a lot to the community, including his stint as volunteer fire chief.”

Denise MacDonald headed up the Larchmont Chamber of Commerce for a number of years.

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13 comments to Larchmont Couple Arraigned on Tax Charges

  • Incredulous

    Priceless. I guess another store on Palmer Avenue will close. And I’m glad I fired CWM years ago for overcharging for their landscaping services.

  • bill

    This is a shame. Why does our town have to be seen in this light? Larchmont deserves more than this. Being a volunteer does not explain these actions. Our representitives should refrain from commenting on this issue until it is resolved.

  • Puzzled

    If the charges are true, what were they thinking?? My husband and I are scrupulously honest about paying our taxes, even though we hate some of the ways the government uses them. I’m angry anytime I read about others cheating on their taxes, because they are cheating on us!

  • Sandra

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    Who amongst us has lived a pure, clean and absolutely untarnished life? If you raise your hand, then there is your next lie.

    Not filing taxes should be met with financial penalties – but NOT imprisonment. Everyone eventually gets caught, the IRS does their homework. So why not hit people w/ huge fines so tax payers benefit? Putting people in jail who fail to pay taxes only adds MORE to the tax burden of Americans. It is NOT the “time” does not fit the “crime”.

    Monetary damages, with a wage garnishment and an IRS representation and oversight committee to ensure every bit is paid back with penalties and interest is a win/win for everyone. Imprisonment for tax evasion is Victorian and outdated not to mention highly inefficient from a cost analysis perspective. In otherwords, a poor ROI for the general tax paying population.

    We just want the DIME not the TIME for the CRIME

  • JB

    Well said…. Sandra

  • Jeanne

    This story is a tragedy for Larchmont. That BEAUTIFUL store- will now be another vacant property with a “For Rent” sign in the window. This news is so, so sad. It is very obvious to us all, that Mrs. MacDonald worked so hard to make her shop a joy for us all, with the beautiful window displays and the wonderful flowers out front. This story is simply unbelievable. My heart goes out to her. I just can’t imagine how this could happen. To collect sales tax from customers and keep the money is unforgivable. But how can we all not appreciate the effort she made to make her part of Palmer Avenue a joy for us to see. Her lovely shop was an asset to our town. This story is truly a tragedy.

    • Grant

      Why does your heart go out to Mrs. McDonald? The McDonalds committed fraud. End of story. It’s not a big suprise that when you don’t pay your taxes, both personal and business, that the IRS Investigators will come knocking on your door. Pay up and they go away. The want their money, that’s it.

    • No Apprentice

      “The Road to hell is paved with good intentions…”

  • Steve M

    Arrogance and ignorance are a bad combo and it appears these two have both in spades. Stop apologizing for them. Character flaws were revealed in their earlier arrests for stealing election signs – a petty move and a crime.

    Collecting and keeping sales tax is theft – a felony, not a little white lie. 10+ years of alleged tax evasion and felony theft are not oversights. Enough with the “everyone does it” BS. This is a serious crime.

  • Neighbor

    Let’s not be so quick to judge the McDonald’s. They have been charged with a crime. At this point they have not been found guilty.

    Our experience with Chris / CWM is that he is honest and very talented. If anything, he has always given us more than we agreed upon (at no additional charge). Twinkle Toes is a nice part of the Larchmont business community.

    As neighbors, let’s hope that they are able to settle this matter and continue to be an important part of our community.

  • angry townsman

    What the hell were they thinking? What these people did was atrocious. They will spend time in jail…don’t drop the soap ;)

  • Neighbor

    Chris has been our gardener for nearly 18 years. We’ve had a great experience with him. He has done a wonderful job with our yard, and bailed us out several times when small trees fell during storms.

    I’m hoping that there’s another side of the story, because the charges are horrific and seem very out of character for the man we knew. This seems like a real Greek tragedy, especially for his children.

  • To the McDonald
    I have been a nanny in Larchmont for the past 15 years, this family may not know me on a personal note but i know of them they are a great family. Please don’t judge them, i have bern in their store and they always treat a person with respect so do the same for them just pray for them.