The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced the arrest of three individuals, each charged with multiple felonies for failing to pay thousands of dollars of sales taxes they collected from fuel sales made at their four gas station-convenience stores.
Combined, the four businesses, two in Onondaga County, two in Madison County, owe the State approximately $170,000 in back sales taxes.
The three defendants, Eliana Wady, Mohammad Wady, and Qusai Abdul Jaber, are related to each other and responsible for the operations of the businesses.
“These business owners are charged with keeping the sales tax they collected from their customers, instead of remitting it to New York State as they are required to do,” said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. “Such criminal conduct deprives hard-working New Yorkers of valuable public services and puts honest competitors at an unfair disadvantage.”
Eliana Wady, 46, of 4853 Coventry Road, Syracuse, is currently the owner of Sanna Seniora, which operates as a gas station, convenience store, and a restaurant at 6325 Thompson Road in East Syracuse. She was also the owner of two additional gas station-convenience stores: Tala-Seniora, formerly located at 5846 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, as well as Seniora 3, formerly located at 1864 Route 31, in the Village of Chittenango.
Wady was charged with numerous counts of Grand Larceny and Criminal Tax Fraud for allegedly failing to report and remit more than $162,000 in sales taxes collected from fuel sales made at these businesses between December 2010 and November 2014. Wady was arraigned on these charges and is scheduled to next appear in court on November 12th. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in state prison.
Mohammad Wady, 51, Eliana Wady’s husband, residing at the same home address, was also charged with multiple counts of Grand Larceny and Criminal Tax Fraud for his role in the alleged scheme to steal sales taxes. He is accused of failing to report and remit more than $7,900 of sales taxes collected from fuel sales made at QA Seniora convenience store, formerly Seniora 3 in Chittenango, between December 2013 and November 2014. He was separately charged and arraigned for the same crimes Eliana Wady is facing with regard to the fuel sales made at the Sanna-Seniora store. If convicted, Mohammad Wady faces up to 15 years in state prison.
Qusai Abdul Jaber
Qusai Abdul Jaber, 33, is the Wady’s son-in-law. He resides at 1872 State Route 31 in Chittenango. He is the current owner of QA Seniora, formerly Seniora 3, and was also charged with Grand Larceny and multiple counts of Criminal Tax Fraud for allegedly failing to report and remit more than $7,900 of sales taxes collected from fuel sales made at QA Seniora between December 2013 and November 2014. He is scheduled to return to court on December 17th. If convicted, Jaber faces up to seven years in state prison.
The three defendants were released on their own recognizance. These cases will be prosecuted by the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation and the three defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
You can report tax evasion and fraud online at the Tax Department’s Web site or by calling 518-457-0578. The information is kept confidential.