HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) - A Chemung County business owner has pleaded guilty to taking more than $125,000 in sales tax from its customers over a five year period.

This is according to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Sheryl Spotts, owner of Spotts Innovations in Horseheads, an awnings and window furnishings business, pled guilty to criminal tax fraud after an investigation of sales tax collections.

Spotts collected nearly $126,000 in sales tax between 2011 and 2016, but failed to file these returns with the tax department.

In addition to paying back the full amount of taxes collected, Sheryl Spotts and her husband William paid an additional $111,000 in interest.

Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore said, "Theft of sales tax is a crime that does not immediately impact a community, but instead has an insidious effect as it steals monies over time belonging to the state and local municipalities. We hope that by prosecuting such crimes we can deter future tax fraud. Our office thanks the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their partnership and support with the investigation and prosecution of this matter."

You can report tax evasion and fraud online at the Tax Department's website or by phone at (518) 457-0578. The information is kept confidential.