Feds indict Westchester Guardian owner Selim ‘Sam’ Zherka on fraud charges

Westchester businessman Selim "Sam" Zherka was indicted by a federal grand jury today in White Plains. The 46-year-old, who owns the Westchester Guardian newspaper and strip clubs, is charged with

News 12 Staff

Sep 19, 2014, 7:06 AM

Updated 3,590 days ago

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Westchester businessman Selim "Sam" Zherka was indicted by a federal grand jury today in White Plains.
The 46-year-old, who owns the Westchester Guardian newspaper and strip clubs, is charged with submitting $146 million in false loan applications, a decade-long tax fraud scheme, wire fraud and witness tampering.
Prosecutors say that between 2005 and 2008, Zherka obtained the $146 million in loans to purchase and refinance apartment complexes across the country. He then allegedly lied about the purchase prices, the down payment amounts, his assets, his income and his tax returns.
If convicted, Zherka could face 30 years for each of the 11 counts of submitting false loan applications. For wire fraud and witness tampering, he is facing 20 years, along with million of dollars in fines.
In 2013, Zherka sued the FBI and IRS for $20 million, citing violations of his constitutional freedoms. He claims he has been under scrutiny in a tax investigation solely because of his involvement with the tea party.
Prosecutors have called Zherka a flight risk, so he has been detained until 11 a.m. Friday when it will be decided whether to release him.
Both Zherka's family and his attorneys declined to comment.
 


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