federal grand jury sitting in New Orleans, Louisiana, returned an
indictment against two Louisiana residents, charging each with one count
of conspiracy to harbor an alien, one count of conspiracy to defraud
the United States, 48 counts of failure to withhold and pay over
employment tax, and 12 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation
of a fraudulent tax return, announced Principal Deputy Assistant
Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax
Division and U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser of the Eastern District of
As alleged in the indictment, Imad “Eddie” Hamdan and Ziad “Z” Mousa
owned and operated over 30 locations of Brothers Food Mart. Hamdan and
Mousa are alleged to have hired undocumented workers to work in their
stores and paid them in cash. To further conceal these undocumented
workers, Hamdan and Mousa allegedly filed false employment tax returns
with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that did not report the cash
wages paid to the undocumented workers.
In addition, the indictment charges that Hamdan and Mousa paid the
salaries of the managers of the Brothers Food Mart stores partially in
cash. Allegedly, employment taxes were also not withheld or reported in
connection with these cash wages. Finally, according to the indictment,
Hamdan and Mousa issued and filed false Forms W-2 that underreported
their wages. The indictment further alleges that Hamdan and Mousa aided
in the filing of fraudulent tax returns for the managers of Brothers
Food Mart stores.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The
defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable
If convicted, Hamdan and Mousa each face a statutory maximum sentence
of ten years in prison for the conspiracy to harbor aliens count, five
years for the conspiracy to defraud the United States count, five years
for each count of willful failure to withhold and pay over employment
tax, and three years for each count of aiding and assisting in the
preparation of a fraudulent tax return. They also face substantial
monetary penalties, supervised release, and restitution.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S.
Attorney Strasser commended Assistant United States Attorney Greg
Kennedy and Trial Attorney Lauren Castaldi of the Tax Division, who are
prosecuting this case. The case was investigated by special agents of
IRS-Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations.