Feds Charge NYC Store Owners in Fraud Scheme

NEW YORK — Federal authorities have brought tax fraud charges against the owners of six gourmet food stores based here, saying the operators of Zeytuna, The Amish Market and Zeytinia Markets failed to report more than $56 million in gross receipts during the years 2004 through 2009.

According to an indictment, Adem Arici and Omer Ipek, who together owned a 50% or greater stake in New York City’s Amish Market and Zetuna; Zetinia Fine Food stores in Oakland, N.J.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Wilton, Conn.; and Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., diverted cash from the books of the stores to pay business expenses, including payrolls, in cash. The owners also skimmed money for their personal use, according to the indictment.

Arici and Ipek face up to 27 years in prison. Seven additional conspirators were charged in the scheme including Arici’s brother Cevdet, authorities said. They face potential sentences of six to 20 years in prison.

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