DaveCo Liquors has been the largest liquor store in the world since it opened in 2006, according to the Guiness Book of World Records.
According to the Denver Post and 7News, owners of the 100,073.1 square foot store are facing an indictment stemming from racketeering, violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, and tax violation charges. The 52-page indictment alleges that brothers Bassam, Ghassan and Hani Dahoud Sawaged took more than $100,000 in tax revenue from the City of Thornton and the state by faking merchandise returns over an 18-month period.
They are suspected of using at least $2 million of that cash to pay some of their liquor distributors. The result of this activity is an alleged underreporting and underpaying of sales tax to the City of Thornton and to the Colorado Department of Revenue causing losses in excess of $450,000.
"It's very significant. These are very serious allegations that involve a retail business that's very high profile in the Metro Area," Denver District Attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough told the Denver Post.
Auditors began to suspect DaveCo Liquors in 2008 and prosecutors are now accusing them of falsifying 97 percent of all returns and misusing their liquor license. Arrest warrants have been issued for all three defendants.
Attorney John Lonnquist is representing the Sawaged brothers.