Easley businessman arrested on multiple tax charges


Staff Report



EASLEY — Sonny Ninan of Easley was arrested on multiple tax charges in Greenville and Pickens counties after an investigation by the S.C. Department of Revenue.

Ninan has been charged with the following offenses:

• 6 counts of willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax (income tax)

• 2 counts of willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax (sales tax)

• 1 count of willful failure to truthfully account for and/or pay over withholding tax

• 1 count of willfully assisting in the preparation of a false tax return

• 1 count of willful failure of a tax preparer to pay over taxes from a taxpayer

A tax and business consultant, Ninan operated Global Consultants and Taxpayer Services from an office in Easley. Ninan previously owned K&S Food Services d/b/a Hailee’s Pub in Mauldin.

He is accused of underreporting income earned on individual income tax returns for tax years 2010 through 2015 as well as sales tax returns filed for Hailee’s Pub for tax years 2010 and 2011.

Over a six year period (2010-2015), Ninan is accused of failing to report more than $1.13 million of income earned on state income tax returns filed. Arrest warrant affidavits allege that Ninan attempted to evade over $75,000 of state income tax by underreporting income earned.

In 2010 and 2011, Ninan is accused of failing to report more than $2.03 million of sales generated through the operation of Hailee’s Pub in Mauldin. Arrest warrant affidavits allege that Ninan attempted to evade approximately $122,000 of sales tax through the understatement of sales.

Ninan, in the operation of Global Consultants and Taxpayer Services, prepared tax returns for businesses throughout the Upstate.

From 2010 through 2016, Ninan received monthly reports from a client for the purposes of preparing sales tax returns.

During this period, Ninan prepared fraudulent monthly sales tax returns for his client. He failed to report over $517,000 of sales, causing over $31,000 of sales tax to be unpaid.

Ninan received these funds from his client each month with the intent that the funds would be used to pay sales tax due. However, due to the false sales tax returns prepared, Ninan failed to pay over $31,000 of taxes to the SCDOR on behalf of his client.

Ninan is currently being held in the Greenville County Detention Center pending a bond hearing. If convicted of the charges, Ninan faces:

• Up to 5 years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines for each count of willful attempt to evade a tax and willful failure to pay over withholding tax

• Up to 5 years and/or a $500 fine for willfully assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, and

• Up to 3 years and/or $5,000 in fines for failure of a tax preparer to pay over taxes.

SCDOR agents encourage any clients of Ninan and/or Global Consultants and Taxpayer Services to call 864-552-4952 if they suspect they may be a victim in this case.

In the interest of protecting taxpayers, SCDOR encourages taxpayers to make all tax payments directly to the Department, either in person, via mail, or through our website (dor.sc.gov).

Staff Report

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