Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is more fashion savvy than we thought. He may wear pleated pants that catch wind like a kite, but he knew there was something shady — too shady — about those scary clothing stores around Canal and Broadway that sell JWOWW boob slings, “jeans” made from spandex, and short polyester dresses with belly-button-length cowl-necks connected by strips of plastic rhinestones. Yesterday Cuomo announced that David Cohen, the owner of seven of those stores, has been arrested! His alleged crimes — not counting those of fashion, for which he deserves life in Wal-Mart — include not paying his employees legal wages, falsifying tax and business records, and attempts “to impede the attorney general’s investigation.”
Cohen’s stores include Mystique Boutique, 547 Broadway, 324 Fifth Avenue, and 412 Broadway; Madness Boutique, 315 Canal Street; Exstaza, 491 Broadway; and Amsterdam, 454 Broadway and 365-367 Canal Street. Cuomo said Cohen underreported the number of his employees and their salaries to get out of paying his full taxes, thereby placing extra tax burden on other New York employers. He is charged with nineteen counts each of two Class “E” felonies. Each could land him in prison for up to four years. Cuomo also seeks damages of $1.5 million for the underpaid workers. But even if Cohen goes to jail, his business could still flourish. And he could wind up, in some years, like Steve Madden, padding around his Manhattan brownstone barefoot, a changed man, with Corinne Bailey Rae playing on surround-sound speakers.