Oct. 8, 2003 – St. Thomas resident Robert W. Brady has pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying his personal income tax return by failing to report "substantial cash compensation" received as manager of the island's Plaza Extra Supermarket, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced on Wednesday.
In a release, U.S. Attorney David Nissman said Brady had initially been charged with six counts of filing false income-tax returns, for the years 1996 through 2001. He said Brady entered his plea in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, and that the return he admitted to falsifying was filed with the federal Internal Revenue Service.
For the single count, Brady could face up to three years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000, the release stated.
Nissman noted that "in federal cases, an indictment can be filed in any venue where a part of the crime takes place. In a tax case such as this, the indictment can be filed in the place where the person has filed his/her tax return."
He said the indictment resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI and the IRS that involved cooperation by his office; the U.S. Attorney's Office in Columbia, which filed and prosecuted the case; and the Tax and Criminal Divisions of the U.S. Justice Department.
The disposition of large quantities of cash by the owner of the Plaza Extra chain and four associates, including two other managers of the stores on St. Thomas and St. Croix, is at issue in a series of federal indictments handed up by a grand jury on St. Thomas last month.
The five individuals and the corporate ownership of Plaza Extra are facing 76 federal charges "including conspiracy, mail fraud, money laundering, structuring financial transactions, causing false individual and corporate income-tax returns, and operating a criminal enterprise," the release issued on Wednesday stated. According to the indictments, some $60 million was involved.
Plaza Extra owner Fathi Yusuf; his son Maher "Mike" Yusuf; and his nephews Waleed "Wally" Hamed and Waheed "Willy" Hamed have entered pleas of innocent to the charges and are under house arrest after having made bail — set at $500,000 for Maher Yusuf and the Hameds and at $1 million for Fathi Yusuf. An arrest warrant has been issued for the fifth individual indicted, Isam Yousef, said by authorities to reside in St. Martin.
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