Seven illegal nightclubs were indicted today as a result of a partnership between Maryland Comptroller’s Office and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The establishments identified by the investigation include: Puzzles Event Center in Suitland, De La Swan Event Atrium on Ardwick Ardmore Road, Let’s Chat in Suitland, Crossroads in Bladensburg, Plaza 23 in Fort Washington, Black Amethyst in Temple Hills, and CFE Club in Forestville.
The nightclub owners were found in violation of numerous local and state laws relating to nightclub operation, the sale and consumption of alcohol and the payment of state and local taxes related to entertainment and the sale of food and alcohol that resulted in a tax revenue loss of around $700,000, according to the Maryland Comptroller's press release.
"The vast majority of businesses throughout the state pay their fair share,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot in a press release. “However, as we see today, some do not and to the minority of businesses that thumb their nose at the state, I promise that we will continue to vigorously pursue, investigate and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."
The Comptroller’s Office collects taxes and enforces tax law throughout the state. They worked closely with Prince George’s County law enforcement and the State’s attorney to investigate the illegal nightclub operations.
Today’s indictments were the result of surveillance performed on the nightclub between June and October 2011.
In addition to the tax fraud, none of the establishments were also illegally selling alcohol and food without the proper licenses, according to the release
“This is part of a targeted effort by my office to pursue businesses that think they can ignore the law and not pay the required taxes and fees to operate legally,” State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said. “If your business is not paying the required taxes and fees, we will catch you and you will be prosecuted.”
The crimes carry various sentences anywhere from six months in prison and a $500 fine to up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
This information was gathered from a media release issued by the Maryland Comptroller's Office.