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Indictment: Lyndhurst Cigar Shop Owner Ducked $442,000 In Taxes

Richard Yanuzzi
Richard Yanuzzi Photo Credit: Twitter

LYNDHURST N.J. -- A Lyndhurst cigar shop owner was indicted on charges of ducking $442,000 in sales and tobacco product taxes, state authorities announced Monday.

Richard Yanuzzi, 52, of Belleville, and his company, Sparroween, are charged with theft and misapplication of entrusted property in connection with his two Cigar Emporium shops. Yanuzzi also is charged with misconduct by a corporate official.

Additional charges of tax fraud are included in the indictment, according to New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino.

Yanuzzi, who operates a second cigar shop in West Caldwell, failed to report nearly $1.7 million in sales, Porrino said.

Besides ducking $442,000 in sales and tobacco product taxes for his businesses through false sales returns, Yanuzzi also "failed to file any state income tax returns or pay any state income taxes for himself" from 2012 to 2016, the attorney general said.

Yanuzzi also "never registered the second cigar shop he opened in West Caldwell with the Division of Taxation, as required by law," leading to addition charges, he said.

The division "strives to increase voluntary compliance with tax laws through a combination of taxpayer education and assistance, and strong compliance and enforcement efforts,” said John Ficara, its acting director.

“It is important to demonstrate to the honest taxpayers of New Jersey that we are doing everything possible to ensure compliance from those who attempt to evade their obligations.," he added.

Those who do "not only steal from the state but from consumers as well," Ficara said.

The indictment returned Friday in Trenton follows a joint investigation by the state Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation (OCI) and the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption North Squad.

It was presented to the state grand jury by Deputy Attorney General Anthony J. Robinson of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.

Porrino commended the forensic auditors in the Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation and the detectives in the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption North Squad.

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