No word on their immigration status. Source: Norwood Business Operator Gets Prison Time for Tobacco Tax Fraud and Money Laundering – Norwood, MA Patch
BOSTON, MA — The operator of a Norwood business was sentenced to prison Monday for illegally selling tobacco products and laundering the proceeds.
Muhammad Saleem Iqbal, 53, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 42 months in prison, two years of supervised release and restitution of $28,027,946, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The court also ordered forfeiture of hundreds of thousands of dollars in tobacco products and over $150,000 belonging to Iqbal and the tax-evading wholesale tobacco business in which he engaged. In May, 2016, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud Massachusetts of wholesale tobacco taxes and to filing a false personal income tax return.
Iqbal and a business partner operated a wholesale business under the name “Pick N Dip,” in Norwood that sold tobacco products, including cigars and smokeless tobacco (such as snuff and chewing tobacco), as well as other non-tobacco items, to convenience stores, gas stations and other retail businesses. Under state law, smokeless tobacco wholesalers must file an excise tax form monthly and pay a 210% excise tax on smokeless tobacco brought into Massachusetts. Cigar wholesalers must file an excise tax form quarterly and must pay a 40% excise tax on cigars brought into Massachusetts.
In order to evade tobacco taxes, beginning around 2010, Iqbal and his business partner repeatedly purchased tens of thousands of dollars at a time worth of smokeless tobacco and cigars in Pennsylvania where no taxes are imposed for these tobacco products. They then arranged to have these tobacco products covertly transported to Massachusetts for resale, without filing the records required by Massachusetts state law and federal law, and without paying excise taxes.
At the direction of Iqbal and his business partner, their employees repeatedly engaged in large cash transactions in order to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the proceeds of their illegal tobacco business and to avoid transaction reporting requirements under federal and state law. Their employees also transported more than $50,000 in cash at a time from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania where the money was used to purchase additional untaxed smokeless tobacco and cigars.
One of Iqbal’s co-defendants, Kaleem Ahmad, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.
Information in this article was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
More: Three co-conspirators were caught and have now pled guilty – there were probably dozens more resellers who knew about the scheme.
Raza Ali, 56, of Hopkinton, and Kaleem Ahmad, 47, of Sharon, both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud and launder money and one count of making a false statement on a federal income tax return, according to the release. They were arrested in December\.
Click the “Fraud” category below to see the billions of dollars being robbed from taxpayers by Muslims. That doesn’t include the hundreds of millions required to catch, prosecute and incarcerate them.