A 48-year-old Huntington Beach man who has contributed thousands of dollars over the years to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) pleaded guilty to failing to report to the IRS millions his company made serving the U.S. military at Baghdad International Airport. Nadim "Nick" Saifan Jr. used hundreds of thousands of dollars in unreported funds to make down payments on real estate and payments on a Ferrari and Rolls-Royce.
Saifan, who owned and operated Surf City-based Defense Logistical Support & Services Corporation (DLSS), and his wife have given campaign contributions of hundreds to thousands of dollars at a time to Rohrabacher over the years, according to federal campaign reporting sites. The $2,300 Nick Saifan gave Rohrabacher in 2008 made the military contractor one of the top 100 donors to the congressman that year.
With the U.S. military and some civilian companies as customers in Iraq, DLSS received $16 million alone from the U.S. military between August 2004 and October 2007, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Sagel.
A federal grand jury indicted Saifan for tax evasion in 2011, and prosecutors preparing for trial wrote that he owed at least $4.5 million in unpaid corporate and personal taxes for the several years charged in the indictment, and that he caused a total tax loss to the government of at least $7 million.
"In addition to failing to report millions of dollars of corporate income, Saifan also used DLSS funds to pay for personal expenses without reporting this money as personal income," says Sagel in a statement. "Federal prosecutors alleged in court papers that defendant used corporate money to make approximately $880,000 in down payments on real estate and approximately $292,000 in payments towards vehicles that included a Ferrari and a Rolls-Royce."
Saifan pleaded guilty late Monday before U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney in Santa Ana to two counts of attempted tax evasion. (The indictment had charged Saifan with five criminal counts.)
Judge Carney, who could sentence Saifan to 10 years in federal prison, revoked the former contractor's bond and remanded him into federal custody pending a scheduled Aug. 18 sentencing hearing.