Former Detroit Liquor Store Owner Sentenced for Tax Fraud and for Selling Cutting Agents to Drug Dealers
Bashar Saroki, a resident of Southfield, Mich., was sentenced today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to serve 30 months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Previously, Saroki pleaded guilty to filing a false 2009 tax return and offering drug paraphernalia for sale.
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. Narcotics dealers used these cutting agents to dilute the potency and increase the quantity of the narcotics they sold to customers. Saroki also filed a false tax return for 2009 that reported very little income despite the significant proceeds from the sale of cutting agents.
Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally for the 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.