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Obama Mart owner arrested for defrauding Americans by refusing to pay taxes

By William Martin 1:12 PM January 11, 2018
Murad Alhanik

A man who named his convenience store and gas station Obama Mart in honor of the 44th U.S. president, Barack Hussein Obama, is now behind bars for defrauding Americans, according to police in South Carolina.

The Department of Revenue (DOR) said that they have arrested 39-year-old Murad A. Alhanik, the owner of Obama Mart and gas station in Columbia, after failing to pay $136,000 in taxes.

Alhanik was charged with 4 counts of sales tax evasion.

Over the course of four years, Alhanik evaded paying more than $136,000 by understating his sales by $1.6 million.

From tax years 2013 to 2016, Alhanik filed monthly sales tax returns of $971,935 in gross sales.

However, DOR’s investigation revealed actual sales to be $2,688,533.

Due to the underreported sales, the defendant evaded paying $136,753 in sales taxes due to the state of South Carolina.

Alhanik is currently being held at the Alvin S Glen Detention Center.

If convicted, he faces fines of up to $10,000 and up to 20 years in prison.

Alhanik bought the gas station and convenience store 7 years ago.

He rebranded the business to Obama Mart.

In an interview at that time, Alhanik said that the new name prompted a considerable increase in sales.

Alhanik said that he will not change the name to Trump Mart as Obama’s victory was historic.