Businessman faces new round of charges


Lyndhurst merchant Richard Yanuzzi is facing more trouble from state regulatory agencies.

On Tuesday, March 28, state Treasury agents arrested Yanuzzi, a Belleville resident, “subsequent to a compliance inspection of his business, Cigar Emporium, 607 Ridge Road,” state Treasury Department spokesman Willem Rijksen said.

“He was charged with 12 third-degree counts of failure to file (state tax return) and failure to pay (state tax) for reporting periods following his indictment on similar charges in September 2016,” Rijksen said.

Yanuzzi was additionally charged with two disorderly person offenses: possession of untaxed goods (Tobacco Products Tax) and failure to display license.

No further details were readily available.

Yanuzzi, 52, and his company Sparroween LLC – which operates cigar stores in Lyndhurst and West Caldwell – were indicted on Sept. 30, 2016, by the state Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau on a second-degree charges of theft by unlawful taking and misapplication of entrusted property.

Yanuzzi was also charged with a single count of misconduct by a corporate official.

Yanuzzi and Sparroween were also charged with multiple third-degree counts of failure to file tax returns, failure to pay taxes and filing false returns.

State investigators allege that, between 2012 and 2016, Yanuzzi failed to report and pay taxes on $442,000 in sales and tobacco-products taxes for the two cigar shops and failed to file any returns or pay any state taxes.

Investigators further alleged that a $1.7 million “shortfall in reported sales” between 2012 and 2015 “resulted in a loss of $115,000 in unremitted sales tax owed to the state.”

Additionally, investigators alleged that Yanuzzi filed no tobacco products tax returns from June 2015 to March 2016 and filed false tobacco products tax returns from February 2012 to May 2015, thereby depriving the state of about $327,000 in taxes.

And, for having allegedly failed to register the West Caldwell business with the state Division of Taxation, Yanuzzi was charged with a fourth-degree count of engaging in conduct requiring licensure or registration without licensure or registration.

On Feb. 6, Yanuzzi pleaded guilty to the indictment, according to Peter Aseltine, spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office.

Last week, Aseltine said Yanuzzi was scheduled for sentencing March 31 but added that, “we expect that to be adjourned in light of the raid this week and the fact that his attorney Anthony Icacullo has a scheduling conflict.”

Aseltine added that Yanuzzi “has applied for the Drug Court program, and we have opposed his application, which is pending.”


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