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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

Friday, April 12, 2013

Strip Liquor Store Owners Charged With Tax Evasion

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The owners of several liquor stores on the Las Vegas Strip have been charged with federal felony tax crimes for failing to report approximately $4 million in income from their stores on their federal individual and corporate tax returns, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Ramzi Suliman and Jeffrey Nowak, are charged in a criminal indictment dated April 10, 2013, with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, three counts of assisting in filing false corporate tax returns, and four counts of attempting to evade and defeat tax. They have been summoned to appear for an initial hearing and arraignment on April 18, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl W. Hoffman.  If convicted, they face up to five years in prison on each of the conspiracy and tax evasion counts and up to three years in prison on each false tax return count, and fines of up to $250,000 on each count.

According to the indictment, from about 2006 to present, Suliman and Nowak owned and operated three liquor stores in Las Vegas, Super Liquor South Strip at 3999 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, Super Liquor Mid Strip at 2301 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, and Super Liquor McCarran Village at 384 E. Tropicana Avenue. Suliman and Nowak allegedly diverted receipts from the stores to their own use by presenting false books and records to the corporate accountant for use in preparing corporate and individual tax returns for the businesses and the defendants. 

From about 2006 to 2009, Suliman and Nowak allegedly maintained multiple sets of accounting records for the Super Liquor South Strip store, one which was accurate, and one which was false, and another which compared the two. Suliman and Nowak allegedly skimmed some of the cash they received from the Super Liquor South Strip store and agreed not to report it the IRS. Suliman and Nowak omitted the skimmed cash from the accounting records that they provided to their accountant for the preparation of their tax returns.  Nowak was primarily responsible for keeping the accounting records, and Suliman was aware of and consented to the skim and occasionally made entries in the records.  In total, Suliman and Nowak allegedly failed to report gross receipts and sales from the Super Liquor South Strip store of approximately $4 million for the tax years 2006 through 2009. 

The case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn C. Newman.

Today's announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and state and local partners, it's the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
Updated January 29, 2015