Robbing American taxpayers is a recurring theme in Muslim-owned convenience stores. Source: Illinois man used fake business to buy and sell millions in tax-exempt cigarettes, prosecutors say | Law and order | stltoday.com and here Illinois store owner charged in $4.5 MILLION cigarette smuggling scam.
An Illinois man has been charged here with using a bogus business to buy at least $2.7 million in tax-exempt cigarettes from area stores and sell them in Chicago.
Walid Abdel Aziz Qaddoumi, 49, of Justice in suburban Chicago, set up his business, 123 Grocery Inc., in 2013 to obtain a retail sales tax license that would allow him to buy large amounts of tax-exempt cigarettes, charging documents said. The business bought cigarettes in bulk from St. Louis County Sam’s Club stores between January 2015 and July 2015, according to charging documents.
But prosecutors say 123 Grocery Inc. allegedly never existed at its registered location of 3708 Clarence Avenue in St. Louis or elsewhere in Missouri.
Most of the cigarettes Qaddoumi bought were allegedly sold in Chicago, where the state excise tax is $1.98 per pack compared to $0.17 in Missouri, prosecutors say. He allegedly kept the inflated profits.
Police investigated Qaddoumi after 123 Grocery Inc. failed to file quarterly sales tax returns or transfer sales tax collected from his customers to the Missouri Department of Revenue.
Qaddoumi was charged in St. Louis County with six felony counts of willfully failing to pay sales tax and six misdemeanor counts of issuing a false certificate. His bail was listed at $30,000.
A photo of Qaddoumi was not available.
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