FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
APRIL 17, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TOBACCO SHOP OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO
TRAFFICKING IN CONTRABAND CIGARETTES
Tax Loss to Maryland of $427,000
BALTIMORE, Maryland - Enoch Moon, age 39, of Elkridge, Maryland pleaded guilty today to knowingly shipping, transporting, receiving, possessing, selling distributing, and purchasing contraband cigarettes, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the statement of facts provided to the court as part of the plea agreement, Enoch Moon, owned and operated the Ben Lex Tobacco Shop in the Lexington Market, Baltimore, Maryland, and the Discount Tobacco Outlet, Towson, Maryland.
Beginning in about March 2001 and continuing for about three years, Moon purchased huge quantities of cigarettes over the internet, many from wholesalers operating on Indian Reservations. These cigarette purchases were typically much cheaper because the wholesalers did not pay any state excise taxes on the cigarettes, the cigarettes bore no evidence that the applicable state taxes were paid, and the wholesalers did not report these cigarette purchases to the Comptroller of Maryland. During this period of time, Enoch Moon purchased, received and resold in his retail tobacco businesses, substantially more than 60,000 cigarettes that he knew did not bear evidence of the payment of Maryland cigarette taxes. The amount of tax lost by the State of Maryland on the sale of these contraband cigarettes was about $427,000.
Moon faces a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and not more than three years supervised release. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for July 28, 2006 at 9:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Maryland Comptroller’s Office. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Cunningham, who prosecuted the case.
This page last modifiedApril 17, 2006