Two too Many Sets of Books Leads to 41 Months at ClubFed

I maintain one set of books for my business. It tells me my income, expenses, and balance sheet for the year. Owners of a Las Vegas liquor store decided that one set of books wasn’t enough and had three sets of books. That was a decidedly bad idea, but it does lead to good blog content.

As I first reported on last year, Jeffrey Nowak and Ramzi Suliman owned liquor stores here in Las Vegas. That’s a good business here; this is a decidedly partying type of town. There are many good strategies to reduce income but Mr. Nowak and Mr. Suliman came from the Bozo taxpaying community. They created a second set of books to give to their accountant. Shockingly (well, not really), not all of their income went on that set of books.

But what gets them a nomination for Tax Offender of the Year is how they kept track of the difference between the correct books and the falsified books: They used a third set of books that showed the difference between the two sets of books. I’m sure it was helpful for IRS Criminal Investigation. And, yes, the IRS did indeed discover the bookkeeping shenanigans.

Earlier, Mr. Suliman pleaded guilty and received 12 months at ClubFed. Mr. Nowak was convicted of conspiring to defraud the United States and tax evasion; he was sentenced today to 41 months at ClubFed and restitution to the IRS.

Do yourself a favor if you’re in business: Keep one good set of books. Your tax professional will appreciate it.

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