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Press Release

Westlake convenience store owner faces tax charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A criminal information was filed today charging Hessam B. Lahoud, 54, of Westlake, with subscribing to a false federal income tax return, said United States Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach.

The information alleges that Lahoud signed a false individual income tax return for calendar year 2008.  Lahoud was the manager of the Airport Convenience Mart, a convenience store located near Hopkins International Airport. During 2008, Lahoud cashed checks at the store, and in many cases, deposited the checks into personal accounts.  He failed to report the checks diverted to his personal accounts in total income for 2008, according to the information.

An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James V. Moroney, following investigation by agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Division. 

Updated February 4, 2016