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Strip liquor store owner pleads guilty in tax fraud scheme

One of the owners of Super Liquor stores on the Strip pleaded guilty Tuesday in a tax fraud scheme authorities say hid $4 million in gross receipts from the IRS.

Ramzi Suliman pleaded guilty in federal court to one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Senior U.S. District Judge Lloyd George set his sentencing for Jan. 12.

Suliman and his business partner, Jeffrey Nowak, were charged in a 12-count federal indictment in April 2013. Nowak is to stand trial in December.

The indictment alleged the two defendants skimmed the $4 million during the tax years 2006 through 2009 at their flagship Super Liquor South Strip store at 3999 Las Vegas Blvd. South, near Mandalay Bay. The owners have two other stores, including another one on the Strip at 2301 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

The objective of the scheme, according to the indictment, was to “divert corporate receipts to their own use and evade federal income taxes by presenting false books and records to their corporate accountant.”

Nowak and Suliman maintained three separate sets of books: one with their true gross sales, one with the skimmed version of those sales that went to the accountant and one that compared the true and skimmed versions, the indictment alleged.

“Defendant Nowak was primarily responsible for keeping the true records and the altered records,” the indictment alleged. “Defendant Suliman was aware of and consented to the skim, and occasionally made entries in the records.”

Both men also were accused of providing false information about the income they received from store sales to the accountants who prepared their individual tax returns.

“The defendants filed the false returns with the IRS knowing they contained misrepresentations about their income from the south-Strip store,” the indictment stated.

Sulliman admitted that he defrauded the IRS of $200,000 to $400,000 in taxes between 2006 and 2009, according to Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden.

The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation in Las Vegas.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ.

 

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