Samir Ramadan Held On $15M Bond; Youngest Brother Aims To Clear His Name

OCEAN CITY — One of two local residents, indicted by a New York grand jury in May for allegedly being the “enterprise treasurer” for a vast money laundering operation with possible links to terrorism, was ordered held on a $15 million bond this week, while his alleged “ringleader” brother remains in custody without a bail review.

In mid-May, federal officials concluded an investigation into a vast, multi-million dollar cigarette smuggling operation with raids on two locations in and around the resort area including the West Ocean City homes of local residents Basel Ramadan, 42, who is being called the “ringleader and “boss” of the operation, and Samer Ramadan, 40, who is being called the “enterprise treasurer.” Federal officials also raided the Ramadan’s offices over the Subway restaurant they owned at Sunset Drive near 26th Street.

At the Ramadans’ West Ocean City homes in the Oyster Harbor community, $1.4 million in large black bags was recovered, along with 20,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. According to the New York Attorney General’s Office, the Ramadans and their 14 co-conspirators allegedly funneled thousands of cartons of untaxed smokes and millions of dollars in ill-gotten revenue through Ocean City and Worcester County from a wholesaler in Virginia to a distribution warehouse in Delaware, from whence the illegal, untaxed cigarettes were distributed to retail outlets all over New York City and upstate.

At arraignment hearings last week, Basel and Samer Ramadan each pleaded not guilty and were remanded to custody without bond. During proceedings this week, Samer Ramadan was ordered to be held on a $15 million bond. Basel Ramadan also appeared for a bail review, but the hearing was adjourned before his bail was set and he was remanded to custody without a bond. The next court appearance for Basel and Samer Ramadan, along with all of the other suspects, is scheduled for June 24, according to court records.

Meanwhile, Mohamad S. “Mike” Ramadan, the youngest brother of Basel and Samer Ramadan, who owns and operates several businesses in the resort including the Gold Coast Beer and Wine store and six Dairy Queens, has experienced a backlash in the community because of the alleged activities of his brothers and is attempting to distance himself from their alleged actions. Ramadan said this week he has seen sales decline and harassment at the businesses he owns and operates independently of his brothers.

“It can’t be explained how damaging this has been,” he said. “It’s been very difficult. It’s really hard, and honestly, really dangerous. My stores and my employees are being harassed and I just want to clear it up and move forward.”

Mike Ramadan’s attorney Mark Cropper said this week he has spoken with the New York Attorney General’s Office to ensure his client is not implicated in any way and that his businesses are not targeted in any of the investigations. Cropper said he spoke last Friday with Peri Kadanoff, Deputy Attorney General on the Organized Crime Task Force of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

“I spoke with her and she confirmed that Mike Ramadan, the youngest brother of Basel and Samir, has never been, is not now or is expected in the future to be suspected of being involved or in any way implicated in the crimes for which Basel and Samir have been charged and arrested as related to the alleged cigarette smuggling ring,” he said.

Cropper said his conversation with Kadanoff should clear up any veiled perception of Mike Ramadan’s involvement in the case.

“As such, the businesses owned and operated by Mohamad S. “Mike” Ramadan, including but not limited to the six Dairy Queens and 114 Beer and Wine Inc., trading as Gold Coast Beer and Wine, never should have been and should never again be identified or referenced in any newspaper article or other media reports associated with or pertaining to the alleged wrongdoing of Samir and Basel Ramadan,” he said.

Cropper said Mike Ramadan’s businesses are owned and operated independently of those owned by his brothers. Cropper refused a request to view tax records or other documentation proving the point. He also said no rational nexus has been established between the alleged cigarette smuggling ring and any of the businesses owned by the Ramadans.

While Mike Ramadan has established his own businesses, he did have some assistance from his older brothers along the way, according to Cropper.

“That’s not to say Mike Ramadan didn’t have the help of Basel and/or Samir in finding a location or learning how to run a business,” he said. “Basel, for example, has more experience in retail. With regard to 114 Beer and Wine Inc., Mike is the sole shareholder and officer of that corporation. With regards to the six Dairy Queens, they are owned by six different entities that Mike owned solely and exclusively. Neither Basel or Samir assisted in the operation of those businesses.”

15 comments on “Samir Ramadan Held On $15M Bond; Youngest Brother Aims To Clear His Name

  1. blood is thicker than water! and the culture speaks for itself! please go back to your home land and leave my alone!

  2. Blue-eyed..speak for yourself ! Yours is the kind of ignorance which is despicable. Much blood has been shed, and by many better than you or I , to secure a freedom in this world which lives no where else except in these United States. Our strength lies in our diversity. Your ignorance is a small thing Ol Blue Eyed American..get out a little more and appreciate the culture where you live. Our society will be a better place for this.

  3. this isn’t your land it’s everyone’s land you r just a racist person my GOD HELP U !!!!!!

  4. 7 Judiciary & Judgements against good ole Mike and 20 incidents of court cases. Real stand up gentleman.

  5. When building a house with lumber, the main joists should be laminated together in an opposing fashion. So as to combine the strengths of the wood grains running opposite to one another. This contributes to the overall strength of the support system upon which the walls will be built upon. This diversity contributes to the durability of the structure. Likewise, our Constitution is also constructed with much flexibility so as to grow along with the changing society. Again, another example of diversity at work in your life every single day. Our society has struggled with diversities of cultures. Hence the term, melting pot. E pluribus Unum.

  6. “strength lies in our diversity”???? My family fled the Balkans and we are now Americanized. You have no idea of what you speak.

  7. Yes John, diversity. Look the word up, and educate yourself. There is strength in diversity. There is weakness in a closed mind mentality. Of that , you are obviously aware.

  8. I have to agree with John. Diversity means different. Strength lies and is accomplished by those with identical (and at the very least similar) views. A house divided will fall comes to mind.
    Of course there are many positive aspects to diversity but strength is not one of them.

  9. You can’t tell me he didn’t know his family was up to no good. If he was totally innocent of the illegal activity, but knew and didn’t report them, that’s a good enough reason for me not to patronize his establishments. Ever. Guilt by association makes sense when you’re talking about funneling money to terrorist organizations. That’s just my opinion and everyone can decide for themselves how they feel. It has nothing to do with being a racist. Terrorists come from all over the world from all religion religious backgrounds. These just happen to middle eastern. I would much rather shop at a store with American ties anyway. Even better, shop at businesses owed by a veteran….I’m patriotic.

  10. Only yesterday (tuesday), I made a negative comment to an uncle, who has dealt with Mike many times and considered him a great guy. My basis was the same Md. case search of Mohammad Ramadan, that I had made days ago, the same search that (just the facts) made too. I went back and re-read it again and had failed to notice the birth dates of (3) three Mohamed Ramadan’s. Mikes history is normal (next to nothing) while there were other bad guys with the same name. I have just called my uncle to correct my mistake and if guilt by association were criminal, most of us would be in jail. Until someone proves otherwise, I’m going to assume that he is the guy that he presents himself to be, unlike his brothers who are traitors to our country.

  11. I have met and had the pleasure of hanging out with Mike a few times. When the story of his brothers actions broke, I actually felt sorry for Mike for fear of exactly the backlash he is describing. I never saw, heard or suspected any wrong doing by Mike. He is a pretty nice guy who just runs a lot of businesses…….”the American Dream”. I only believe that he is being singled out because of his nationality. Shame on everyone for that. We learned the lesson between terrorists and deranged lunatics after 9-11. Leave the guy alone, we all have family members that “surprise” us with their behavior and never knew about. SO cut the guy a break. I am going to Dairy Queen right now as a matter of fact.

  12. ALL OF THE RAMADANS CAME HERE FROM PALESTINE WITH 1 THING IN MIND- TO GET OUR MONEY AND SEND IT BACK TO BOMB US- THEY ALL-ALL NEED ROUNDED UP AND SHIPPED BK TO PALESTINE! PERIOD. WE DO NOT WANT OR NEED THEM!~

  13. those Ramadans are bad news, check for yourself- 1997-2000 in salisbury police logs/district court cases-ask atty anne shaw of salisbury- the Ramadans, with the father, SALAH, and MIKE (Mohammed)- why do they change theor names?? They raided and bilked an american Real Estate broker out of over $4million in loans, backed up with false paperwork, false properties they didnt even own, the real estate broker lost everything! they pwe the comptroller of md, millions, so what good are they? They just keep changing the name/relative of who’s name is on license.. we are FOOLS to believe anymore! GET BACK TO PALESTINE!

  14. Does anyoneknow what has happened and if these guys were found guilty? If they were what were they founf gulity of and are they going to prison???

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