Tag Archives: liquor store

Richmond Hill liquor store owner busted for tax fraud

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A Glen Oaks man was busted for failing to pay more than $500,000 in sales taxes owed to the state by his Richmond Hill liquor store, prosecutors said.

Gurcharan Singh, 33, along with his business, Raj American Liquor Inc., located at 102-25 Atlantic Ave., are facing charges of criminal tax fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records and sales, and compensating use taxes/fraud returns, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Singh and his business are accused of underreporting more than $10 million in sales on tax returns filed between March 1, 2007, and May 31, 2010. According to prosecutors, the liquor store collected $11,327,548 in revenue, but only reported sales of $387,724.

Singh, who is listed as the chairman or chief executive officer of Raj American Liquor, allegedly failed to pay $501,730 in sales taxes that should have gone to the state.

“This is the type of crime that makes every New Yorker a victim because the government and the public are cheated out of money to fund programs, services and infrastructure,” District Attorney Richard Brown said.

If convicted, Singh faces up to 15 years in prison. His business is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or double the amount of the illegal gain.


Lindenwood liquor store meets opposition

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Concerned over its proximity to a school, many members of the Lindenwood Alliance voiced reluctance toward a proposed liquor store in the Lindenwood Shopping Center.

Members voted 20-8 against the liquor store at their August 13 meeting. The primary worry was that the store, which would be located at 82-33 153rd Avenue, would be too close to P.S. 232, which is across the street.

Along with the proximity to the school, residents said they were unsettled about unruly characters coming in and out of the store, late night hours and lewd advertising.

Residents said there were also problems with the shopping center as a whole, mainly regarding traffic. Several people said there had been accidents or incidents as a result of shoppers parking in the center’s fire lanes, and driving the opposite way on one-way streets.

The liquor store’s potential owner, Gurinder Singh, was present at the meeting with an advisor, John Springer, to hear residents’ worries and plead their case for the shop.

Springer said he had walked the distance from the school to the site and determined it to be 338 feet door to door. This, he said, is well over the minimum distance of 200 feet.

“There’s a buffer,” Springer said. “The legislature decided 200 feet was a good enough buffer.”

Regardless of the outcome, Councilmember Eric Ulrich said it was a good sign that the potential owner was interested in the community’s opinion.

“I think it’s an act of good faith on their part,” Ulrich told members.

Howard Plaza Realty, the management company for the Lindenwood Shopping Center, was represented by Catherine Napolitano and Joseph Trotta. Trotta is also a member of the Alliance. The two told members that when searching for someone to fill a vacant store, they look for a suitor who will mesh well with what is already there.

Napolitano said that the liquor store’s potential spot, which had been a bagel store, had been vacant for nearly two years as the management company looked for the right candidate.

Singh is due to appear for his liquor license on August 29, he said, and hopes that it will be approved.