Longmeadow man sentenced for tobacco tax evasion and illegal check cashing business | USAO-MA

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BOSTON – A Longmeadow man was sentenced Sept. 15, 2022, in federal court in Springfield on two counts related to evading tobacco sales tax payments and operating an illegal cash collection business of checks.

Satish Kumar, 67, was sentenced by US District Court Judge Mark. G. Mastroianni on one year’s probation. In November 2015, Kumar pleaded guilty in a case to one count of conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. In the second case, Kumar pleaded guilty to one count of failing to register a money transfer business.

In 2006 Kumar purchased a wholesale warehouse business in Berlin, Connecticut. Kumar systematically evaded Connecticut state tobacco taxes, selling cigars and smokeless tobacco to convenience stores and gas stations. Kumar consistently failed to pay required tobacco excise taxes in Connecticut, paying only 2% of the tax owed. In 2008, Kumar sold the business, but he continued to receive proceeds from the continued tobacco tax evasion that occurred at the Berlin warehouse. In June 2012, the fraud stopped when federal agents executed a search warrant at the Berlin warehouse and 12 other locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. During the six-year program, Kumar and others helped evade more than $16 million in taxes owed to the state of Connecticut.

In the illegal check cashing case, Kumar owned a liquor store in Springfield, Massachusetts, which also acted as an unregistered money transfer business. Kumar cashed checks without the required record despite warnings from his bank. Among the checks cashed were 195 US Treasury tax refund checks worth approximately $1.2 million obtained through fraudulent returns filed with the IRS.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; James M. Ferguson, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Joleen D. Simpson, special agent in charge of criminal investigations for the Internal Revenue Service in Boston; Commissioner Geoffrey E. Snyder of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue; Acting Commissioner John Biello of the Connecticut Department of Tax Services; and Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent for Homeland Security Investigations in New England, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher L. Morgan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Breslow of Rollins’ Springfield branch prosecuted the cases.

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