City Desk

DC Live/Platinum/VIP Club Owner Indicted On Tax Charges

Abdul Karim Khanu, the owner of controversial-now-defunct District nightclubs, had been indicted in U.S. District Court on conspiracy and tax evasion charges. Khanu, who currently resides in the sweet Potomac suburb, operated DC Live, Platinum and other night clubs. In late 1999, his company Abdul Productions II, Inc. he opened Platinum. Under a haze of allegations, Platinum closed in June 2008. Khanu also owned H20 on the Southwest waterfront which closed this month.

Now, it appears Khanu is in some very hot water with federal authorities. I think you can read the complaint here.

A U.S. Attorney's Office press release states:

"A federal grand jury sitting in Washington, D.C., has returned a twenty-two count indictment, charging a local nightclub owner and operator, Abdul Karim Khanu, with tax crimes associated with two nightclubs that he ran from 2000 through 2003, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor, John A. DiCicco, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice, and C. André Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigation, IRS, Washington Field Office, announced today.

Khanu, 41, of Potomac, Maryland, was charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States with the three co-owners of one of the clubs that he ran from 2000 through 2003, three counts of attempted tax evasion, and eighteen counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of false tax returns. Khanu was most recently the owner of H2O, a nightclub at 800 Water Street, SW, Washington, D.C., until it was closed in March of this year.

Khanu was arrested this morning by IRS Special Agents and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges in U.S. District Court this afternoon."

The complaint states:

From in or about 1998 continuing through at least in or about September 2004, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, defendant ABDUL KARIM KHANU, SM, TH, AL, and others known and unknown to the grand jury, did unlawfully, voluntarily, intentionally, and knowingly conspire, combine, confederate, and agree together and with each other to defraud the United States for the purpose of impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful government functions of the IRS of the U.S. Treasury Department in the ascertainment, computation, assessment, and collection of the revenue, to wit, income and employment taxes."

Abdul is accused of skimming profits and paying employees in cash to avoid taxes:

"It was an object of the conspiracy to skim cash from TAF, Inc.’s gross receipts so that the conspirators could pay the corporation’s employees wages in cash, avoid paying employment taxes on those wages, and assist the employees in avoiding paying their income It was a further object of the conspiracy to skim cash from TAF, Inc.’s gross receipts so that KHANU, SM, TH, and AL could conceal their income and avoid paying income taxes."

But wait, there's more.

"It was a further part of the conspiracy that KHANU would and did conceal the skimmed cash that he received by depositing skimmed cash into TAF, Inc.’s bank accounts and improperly recording the deposits in TAF, Inc.’s books and records as loans from him, or loan repayments by him, rather that accurately recording these cash deposits as the corporation’s sales receipts. Accordingly, KHANU was able to hide his skim and access the skimmed funds in non-cash form by having TAF, Inc. repay the purported loans or by borrowing the funds before making the purported loan repayments."

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  • Doesn't he also brag about owning part of Avenue? (on NY Ave)

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  • DCNative

    It's time to go get Marc Barnes of Love, Layla and Park Nightclubs. That's right he has the Mayor and other city officials on his payroll.

  • infromed

    These are old charges not new AT all... been knew not even news... oh the haters come out today..Adul went legit on the paper trail and is paying his dues... Marc Barnes has always been straight with his paper trail okie inc. Haters make me laugh

  • corruption

    Maria Delaney, former head of ABRA, was corrupt. She shut down Platinum and Pearl. Howvever, an underage girl got drunk at Love and killed a state trooper. ABRA let that go. Why?

  • ab

    Here you go again Dc government targeting a successfull african man whats new anyway i want to addres this to All you haters I worked for Abdul for ten years he never pay me cash to avoid taxes i dont know what each, and every one of you haters talk about, DC government only protect club owners like mark Barnes because the mayor, the police chief, and those so called police officers and other city officials are on his payroll,for Mark the money is not his that is why he is genorous the source for Marks money is an Ethiopian billionaire name Mohammed that why he pays to all this city officials to get out of trouble, on the other hand Abdul worked all his life for what he achived he only pay what he has to pay. i personally belive the other reason why DC government has been abusing Abdul is simply becuse he is a successful black man thats makes him a target. at the end of tlast year city force him to close his clubs by finding him guilty for the things he didn't do the sad thing is DC government don't realize they are heating all of his employes @ H2o he had about 100 employees when they closed the club because someone got killed @the parking lot in front of police he got blamed for it, is that sound a reasnable thing to do? it wasnt and he lost his club we all lost our job it sadness me seeing him been abused like this but at the end of the day all you haters you will realize he is innocent Abdul is not and will never be a criminal all of his employee pay taxes we never get paied cash its all bull.

  • What happened to Maria Delaney former head of ABRA

    They go after this guy for taxes and shut his clubs down. Meanwhile, an 18 year old got drunk at Dream, now Love, 5 years ago and ran over a state trooper while driving drunk. They told Dream to change its name to Love. Meanwhile, Platinum, Pearl and H20, all competitors of Love get shut down for fights. Love has had people stabbed inside and outside, yet the police do not enforce. The reports get hidden and/or misplaced.

    ABRA does not do its job fairly.

    Michael Romeo served alcohol at Fur until 5am for the entire year of 2005 and 2006, yet no one cared. Half the City's employees would get off work and go there to drink.

    Where are you City Paper?

    Where is the equal enforcement?

  • infromed

    Yo Ab... Abdul at one point in time paid cash to his security staff and Promoters... he was cutting checks after the raid the IRS did in 2003. Again these charges are old and abdul worked hard to make things legit since then... Yes the DC goverment is bias... Abdul wont playball and bribe people or do any favors... he's a business man... H20 closed because of the prospect to turn that whole area into condos... the only place that may stay is Phillips... also ABRA cant touch Marc Barnes or his company because after the incident with the state trooper the club switched INC ownership and fired half its staff and changed the name like a corporate take over... cant close a club down that doesnt legally exsit... Marc is smart... Abdul is wise

  • If he was on the up and up, he would come clean about his stake in Avenue

  • infromed

    he doesnt own avenue his former partner NoW decease owned it and willed it to his daughter and her Brother he consults and is mainly playing the wall

  • corruption

    How come they don't raid Fur and Love?!!!?!?! Why they picking on Abdul? Strange no? Wake up everyone. It's Maria Delaney, she was working for Marc, Abdul's main competitor and now she's in Florida. Why? Because she set shit in motion then left so she can't answer any questions.

  • Whatever

    Let's be real this isn't about color. It is about following the law and government regulations. You don't play by the rules you get nailed. Why bring up other club owners let's stick to the topic. Hell, if you want to really go crazy we can talk about Ex Mayor Barry! Deflecting will not work Abdul is the one with the problem now. Not anyone else at any other club. Let the court decide innocent until proven guilty black white or purple. Stick to the topic.

  • veteran

    It's not about race, think about what happened to Tony Kowkabi a few years ago. He's not African-American.

  • nonya

    Abdul does not have a stake in Avenue, which is now called Lux. Rumors will always be rumors.

  • They will, for sure. Perhaps he was joking when he said he did.

  • whitney

    You all need to back off this young man...he is a very,very hard working man....he knows the business, and I believe the DC govt is after him as they know he is an African with the name Abdul...wake up!!! we have a President who's dad comes straight form Kenya...and it's written in the book...Africa will rule the world...indeed it's true as President Obama's dad hales from the continent...and our son is rulling the world...Barnes and others are so scared for Abdul, they will do anything to get rid of him...we need to back up this brother we need to go to Lux whether he is a stakeholder or not..we need to support his business...for those old enough to know about KILIMANJARO CLUB...It was owned by another African, they shut him down and destroyed his life....let's not allow these people to cut our brother short and mess him up...leave him alone uncle sam....let him be....Abdul, if you get to read this..."STAY STRONG, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP YOU GOT THAT AFRICAN VALUES IN YOU...YOU WILL PREVAIL...God bless you my brother

  • Dessalines

    I guess he should have done like most of the major corporations in this country and established a tax scamming business out of the Cayman Islands.

  • Dessalines

    Its about following the law? Dear, dear, dear naive child. You must have skipped history and social studies class. The IRS is one of the main tools to exact political retribution and economic warfare.

  • Ummm

    For all you who know so much, it was a US Park Police officer on the GW parkway, not a state trooper.

  • Malibu Breeze

    Abdul was doing something @ Lux. I don't know if he owned it or was just running it promotion wise.

    And H2O is about to re-open soon, I've heard rumors about different promoters trying to work out deals there.
    Won't say who.. but streets are talking, and to my knowledge, the club days on the waterfront are NOT over!

  • Bobsum

    You seem, to me, to be very informed, and pro Marc Barnes. Who is this Ethiopian Billionaire Mohammed? Do tell..

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  • expromoter

    i think the feds ought to look at mark barnes relationship and abduls dating back to 1998 look at the radio station connections and you'll see a conspiracy to bankrupt other promoters and look into their allege busniess partners radio one and how the jocks report there engagemeent fees .......
    i was victim and how two promoters dominated the club scene by having the only live radio events for ten years // not allowing any competition

  • Dul

    It's really disappointing we as black people, find it so easy, to speak negative about the next black person.It sometimes seems as if we enjoy commenting on negative topics like this,when was the last time we made positive comments on topics. The worst thing about this is, I know Marc Barnes and Abdul both have children,and they are old enough to read things like this,how would you like it if your child,mother,grandmother, negative, unsure comments about you that were not true,just assumptions.Always keep in mind, things like this can happen to anyone!

  • http://DCGOINGOUT Maria T

    Marc Barnes does not own anything in DC…The group of 3 promoters in DC are pretending that they are club owners.. His Partners are Masoud (”Lima” on K street , NW) and Mohamed Hamdan (”The Reserve ” on L street, NW and “Layla” in NE)…Mark does not own “Love”… Michael Jordan , the basketball player owns 80%of "LOVE" with 4 million dollars initial investment in 2001, 20 % of "LOVE" is owned by group of ethiopian investors at amount of 1 million in 2001.
    According to ABRA "LOVE" is shot down forever (Jan. 20.2010), until the venue change and find new GM, which Marc Barnes was, not an owner.
    Mark Barnes does not own “The Park” on 14th street, NW.According to "The Park's" Landlord the rent is $50,000 a month and is paid by Kuwait investor
    There are “reserved” tables rented at all those establishments for $2,000 a table with liquor and prostitutes. They liked the tables name so much they named the latest establishment at 1426 L Strret, NW ” The Reserve”. There is sex in the bathrooms in all their establishments, especially at “The Park”, right in front of club security while they look the other way. Police is outthere but they do not stop pimps and hookers from mixing with the regular crowd. At “Lima” drug dealers are moving freely right in front of the uniform police and entering and exiting the tent while police is looking the other way. Mark Barnes is still in the business because he is always supported by the lawyer of previous mayor Toni Williams, therefore he is not only a straw man for the Kuwait interests , but also for DC Goverment interests, he pays $240,000 a year to selected uniform police officers according to his own comments, dated back as "The RepubliC Gardens". His fate maybe the same as Abdul Khanu from “H2O”, “Platinum”, “VIP”, if he contunues to pretend he owns anything in DC…
    Mohamed Hamdan’s partner in “The Reserve” breads fighting dogs and owns gas stations in Fredericks, VA....
    Masoud’s investor in “LIMA” is a doctor, no wander drugs are ok to sale there… hey it is only in the tent. lol.

  • sedcdude

    @ Maria

    damn!!! Do tell!

  • http://DCGOINGOUT Maria T

    Abdul was raided twice in 6 years... Feds stole 1,1 Million dollars from him. They found 3 million at his home and 1 Million at his club. They say he did not declare 1,9 Million...where is the rest of the money, feds? I think they reenacted the movie "Training Day" with Denzel Washington. If nobody around, who is counting? 10 years in jail for tax evasion? Wesley Snipes got 3years for refusing to pay 14 million, based on that his movies were made abroad... check your tax codes IRS.!!. Also,it is nothing wrong paying cash to anyone working in the club, as long they are 1099 subcontractors. What is wrong with Abdul's accountant, if he had one? The only thing is one businessman has to keep true records of that, Abdul does not pay at this case payroll tax, the 1099ers pay that .

  • wow

    Maria...very insightfull...did not know that the nightlife was full of all this noted...

  • tnug

    abdul bought my old house in potomac. feds busted his shit down and in my old pantry he had a safe filled w cakkke