Attorney General Lisa
Madigan today announced that a Cook County tobacco store owner was charged with
underreporting nearly $1 million in sales of tobacco products in a five-month
Nasar Suheil, 45, of
Bridgeview, was charged with tax fraud, money laundering and forgery for
defrauding the state out of over $335,770.62. Between May and September 2014,
Suheil allegedly underreported over $928,600 in sales to the IDOR as the owner
of E&N Corp., located at 9250 S. Harlem Ave., in Bridgeview, Ill. Madigan
accused Suheil of operating a scheme to avoid reporting sales by make it appear
as though E&N's tobacco sales were being made to an Indiana distributor
because under Illinois law, sales to out-of-state corporations are tax exempt.
According to Madigan,
Suheil directed an employee to establish a corporation in Indiana, Istanbul
Enterprises, under the employee's name. Suheil gave the employee cash and
instructions to deposit the money into Istanbul Enterprises' account. Under the
guise that Istanbul Enterprises was purchasing tobacco products from E&N,
the money would then be wired back to E&N without Suheil having reported
the sales as taking place in Illinois or paying state tobacco product taxes.
"Instead of following
the law, this defendant masterminded a scheme that defrauded the state out of
hundreds of thousands of dollars," Madigan said. "I will continue to prosecute
defendants that engage in tax fraud against the state."
The investigation was
conducted by the IDOR's Criminal Investigations Division.
"Allegations of tobacco
products tax fraud are something we take very seriously," said Connie Beard,
Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue. "I commend the job performed by
the Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigations Unit, as well as the work
currently being done by the Attorney General's office as they continue efforts
to protect Illinois taxpayers from fraud."
Prosecutions Bureau and the IDOR investigate and prosecute tobacco store owners
and operators who defraud the state by evading sales tax payments. Since
increasing efforts to investigate and prosecute these cases, the state has
successfully prosecuted over 100 tax evasion cases related to the illegal transportation,
unlawful possession or unreported sale of cigarettes and other tobacco
products, and defendants have been ordered to pay over $9 million in
reimbursements to the state. Additionally, the state has seized 32,000 cartons
of illegal cigarettes and over 165,000 packs of other tobacco products.
General Stephanie Pauly is handling the case for Madigan's Special Prosecutions