FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2013
TDD (202) 514-1888
FORMER OWNER OF LIQUOR STORE PLEADS GUILTY TO TAX CRIME AND SELLING CUTTING AGENTS TO LOCAL DRUG DEALERS
WASHINGTON – Southfield, Mich., resident Bashar Saroki pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return and selling drug paraphernalia, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.
According to court documents, Saroki controlled and operated Golden Star Party Store, a liquor store that was located in Detroit. From 2007 through 2011, Saroki sold more than $1 million worth of a variety of cutting agents to local narcotics dealers out of Golden Star Party Store and from his residence. The cutting agents were substances used by narcotics dealers to dilute the potency and increase the quantity of the narcotics sold to customers. Despite the significant proceeds from the sale of cutting agents, Saroki reported very little income on his false tax return for 2009.
Saroki faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each count. U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland set sentencing for Dec. 17, 2013.
Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Tax Division, commended the efforts of special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated this case, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Kenneth C. Vert and Yael T. Epstein, who prosecuted the case.