Westlake man sentenced to prison and ordered to pay more than $500,000 in restitution for evading income tax


Date: September 28, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

CLEVELAND — Yaser Najjar, of Westlake, Ohio, was sentenced on Tuesday, September 7, 2022, by U.S. District Judge Donald C. Nugent to two years in prison and was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and at least $503,398 in restitution to the IRS after he pleaded guilty to four counts of attempt to evade and defeat income tax.

According to court documents, from 2009 to 2017, Najjar failed to report the total amount of income earned from his ownership and the operations of a gas station on East 152nd Street in Cleveland. In addition, court records state that, as part of the scheme to evade income tax, Najjar used cash from the business to make personal purchases and maintained a second, secret handwritten ledger documenting the gas station's daily gross receipts, gasoline and convenience store sales.

Court records show that Najjar used an accountant to prepare his taxes for the calendar years 2009 through 2016 and deliberately concealed and misrepresented a substantial portion of the gas station's gross receipts from the accountant. Najjar provided the accountant with the markup (profit) per gallon of gasoline and convenience store sales, which figures substantially underreported actual gross receipts as reflected in the handwritten ledger. Additionally, Najjar failed to provide the accountant with certain information related to actual gasoline and convenience store sales and concealed other sources of income, including ATM fees, vacuum machine receipts and air machine receipts.

In total, Najjar defrauded the IRS of more than $1.5 million in income taxes owed as a result of concealed or underreported income earned from the gas station operations.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the IRS - Criminal Investigations (CI). This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elliot Morrison and Megan Miller.