Senate Democrats will ask state Supreme Court nominee Phillip Kwon to turn over tax documents from his family’s New York wine and liquor store, which recently forfeited nearly $160,000 to settle federal civil charges over more than $2 million in illegal bank deposits, sources said Friday.

Three Democratic sources with knowledge of the request said the information is important for lawmakers to be able to verify claims made by the attorney for the business that all of the deposits came from sales, and that the appropriate taxes were paid.

The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly disclose internal party discussions.

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said earlier this week that Kwon’s nomination was in jeopardy in the wake of a Star-Ledger article detailing the case.

Derek Roseman, a spokesman for Senate Democrats, declined to comment on the tax request.

A spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, Michael Drewniak, said in a statement: "The appropriate and decent thing to do would be to schedule and hold a confirmation hearing for the nominee. Instead we get anonymous, partisan sniping like this. It’s undignified and offensive to the process and, obviously, to the nominee."

State Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex) said it was "curious" that Democrats wanted to reopen a civil case that was settled with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn. "What’s next they ask for his green card to make sure he came over here legally?" O’Toole said.

The business, KCP Wines & Liquor Corp. of Mount Vernon, N.Y., is owned by Kwon’s mother, Jin Soon, and his wife, Sung Hui "Chris" Kwon. Both had access to the business’s bank accounts, according to court documents filed in June in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.

 

Information from: The Star Ledger, http://www.nj.com