Local Business Owner Sentenced

November 14, 2011 Updated Nov 14, 2011 at 2:49 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

November 14, 2011 Updated Nov 14, 2011 at 2:49 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - He plead guilty to a charge of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree after stealing just over $191 thousand in sales taxes. Now, Karl Kellner, 63, was sentenced to five years probation.

"I'm sorry the whole thing happened and I will work my hardest to make sure it's cleared up as soon as possible," Kellner said in court, Monday.

Kellner owned this store on Elmwood Avenue in Kenmore, Kellner Lifetime Brakes and Mufflers, which is now under a completely different ownership. He also owned three other automotive stores in Erie and Niagara Counties. A state tax audit revealed "significant under-reporting" of sales tax between February 2008 and February 2010 at all his businesses.

Under the stipulations of probation there are also restitution payments. Due to the plea deal made between his lawyer Joel Daniels and the state, he only has to pay back $96 thousand total.

"Monthly amount that Mr. Keller is able to pay. We were shooting for $500 or $600 but the economy isn't the best and we would respectfully ask the court that if he could pay $400 a month," Daniels said in court.

In court Monday, Kellner had a check ready to pay $30 thousand. Now, the new balance is just over $66 thousand.

"He will work hard to get that paid off as quickly as possible," Daniels said.