ALTON - An Alton business owner was indicted on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024 by a Madison County Grand Jury on charges of sales tax evasion, forgery, and filing fraudulent sales and use tax returns after years of evading more than $10,000 in taxes owed and more.

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Sufian Shihadeh, 52, of Alton, is described in recently filed Madison County court documents as the owner and responsible party for filing tax returns for Sufian & Noor, Inc., the corporation behind Jim’s Corner in Alton. From April 1, 2016 to Jan. 20, 2019, Shihadeh allegedly evaded more than $10,000 but less than $100,000 in taxes owed by providing “false sales figures to the accountant who then used those false figures to prepare and file monthly sales and use tax returns on behalf of Jim’s Corner,” according to court documents.

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Shihadeh was also indicted for filing a fraudulent sales and use tax return after “knowingly” understating the amount of “high rate” sales for the month of December 2018 and understating the amount of “low rate” sales for the same month, resulting in over $300 of taxes owed to the State of Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, “The [tax] rate for general merchandise is 6.25% (high rate)” while “the preferential rate for qualifying food, drugs, and medical appliances is 1% (low rate).”

Creating the fraudulent tax return also resulted in the third count, forgery, since Shihadeh “knowingly caused a false document to be created” which contained false sales reports and was “capable of defrauding another.”

In total, Shihadeh was indicted for one Class 2 felony charge for sales tax evasion and two Class 3 felony charges for forgery and filing a false sales and use tax return.

The issuance of charges is based solely upon probable cause and is not an indication of guilt. All subjects charged with criminal offenses are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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