By Michael R. Sisak, The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Dec. 30--His hands are tithed.
Gregory Malia, the former Northeastern Pennsylvania Episcopal vicar dubbed "the partying priest" by a New York tabloid, owes the Internal Revenue Service$358,576 in back taxes, according to a court filing Thursday.
Malia, 46, formerly of Laflin, failed to pay taxes in 2006, 2007 and 2008 on income derived from self-employment or through his interest in a small business, according to the filing in Luzerne County Court.
Attorney Edward Patrick Heffron, who represents Malia in another matter, did not return a telephone message Thursday evening. Malia, who lives on Wall Street in New York City, could not be reached for comment.
According to the filing, a federal tax lien, Malia owes $130,367 in personal income taxes for 2006, $39,997 for 2007 and $188,211 for 2008.
The document did not specify Malia's self-employment or small business interest. State records indicate Malia remains the sole officer of New Life Home Care Inc., a pharmacy he founded in Pittston a decade ago for hemophilia patients.
Investigators from the state Attorney General's office raided the offices of New Life Home Care in August 2009 as part of what a spokesman for the office called an "ongoing insurance fraud investigation." No charges were filed, but Malia and the company have faced several lawsuits alleging overbilling and misappropriation of funds.
ASD Specialty Healthcare, a Frisco, Texas-based pharmaceutical supplier, sued New Life and Malia in January accusing the company of ordering $2,558,586 worth of products and then failing to pay.
Malia, the controlling shareholder and sole controlling authority at New Life, misappropriated the company's resources "to fund his own lavish lifestyle in a way that left New Life owing millions of dollars to the Internal Revenue Service, vendors and others," the lawsuit said.
A June 2010 federal tax lien indicated New Life owed $1,439,128 in back taxes. As of Thursday, the lien remained in effect. The company also owes $239,715 in state taxes, according to a September 2010 court filing.
Malia, the former vicar of St. James Episcopal Church in Dundaff, Susquehanna County, made national headlines in December 2008 when the New York Daily News painted him as a frequent guest at upscale city nightclubs and a patron willing to buy expensive champagne and leave five-figure tips.
Malia earned local notoriety after police said he pulled a .38-caliber handgun on two men who intervened in a fight July 7, 2009, outside the River Street Ale House in Jenkins Township.
Malia pleaded no contest in September 2010 to reckless endangerment and simple assault and agreed to serve two years of probation. Weeks after the fight, Malia's daughter filed a protection-from-abuse petition against him that included details of the altercation.
The same daughter, Marilyn, 24, sued him in March for assault, battery and infliction of emotional distress stemming from the altercation and is seeking $100,000 in damages.
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