SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Danny Brazell
Phone: (803) 898-5464
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2006
NEW JERSEY COUPLE ARRESTED IN SOUTH CAROLINA TAX CASE
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A New Jersey couple who were the previous owners of a Sumter motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle business was arrested on tax charges today after they voluntarily turned themselves in to South Carolina Department of Revenue investigators and Sumter County Sheriff's deputies.
Lawrence Seruya, 52, and Cheryl Seruya, 46, of Red Bank, New Jersey, are being held at the Sumter-Lee County Regional Detention Center pending a bond hearing. Each was charged with four counts of sales tax evasion and four counts of criminal conspiracy.
Lawrence "Larry" Seruya was the former president of B&D Suzuki Cycle Center and his wife was the company bookkeeper. The business operated under the name of Ray's Suzuki, Kawasaki and Marine.
The Seruyas allegedly failed to report and pay more than $56,876 in state sales tax for periods from July 2000 through April 2003, when they owned the business. The criminal conspiracy charges are related to their tax evasion charges.
The Seruyas are accused of doctoring original sales invoices and shredding others to avoid paying the proper amount of taxes due on their business sales. Store security surveillance tapes recovered by the revenue department during their investigation allegedly show the Seruyas destroying documents and piecing together invoices in an attempt to hide the tax.
Each is facing up to five years in prison on the tax evasion and conspiracy charges if convicted. They also could be fined up to $15,000 on each count.
William and Steven Miller, current owners of Ray's Suzuki, were unaware of the Seruya's activities prior to their purchase of the business and are not under investigation by the Department of Revenue. No further arrests are anticipated.