Powhatan Store Owner Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Structure $10,000,000 Obtained from Illicit Cigarette Sales
RICHMOND, Va. –Jayant Khare, 50, of Powhatan, Va., pleaded guilty today to conspiring to structure more than $10,000,000 in cash transactions for the purpose of preventing banking institutions from reporting those transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C.; and Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Henry E. Hudson.
Khare was charged by criminal information filed on March 28, 2013, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on July 19, 2013.
According to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Khare, along with co-conspirator Loveleen Khare, owned and operated two cigarette retail stores known as Cigarettes America Plus and Cigarettes America at Westchester. Khare admitted that from October 2011 to December 2012, he and Loveleen Khare conspired to structure over $10,000,000 in U.S. currency by splitting up cash deposits into accounts maintained at six banks, all in an effort to prevent the banks from filing Currency Transaction Reports with the IRS, which must be filed on cash deposits of $10,000 or greater. The structured cash was obtained by selling large quantities of cigarettes to out-of-state individuals who were known to be transporting the cigarettes to locations outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia for resale as contraband cigarettes. The sales took place at Khare’s personal residence and from the back door of the retail stores.
Loveleen Khare pled guilty to the conspiracy charge on April 17, 2013 and will also be sentenced on July 19, 2013.
This case was investigated by HSI, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, and the Tobacco Enforcement Unit of the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia. Assistant United States Attorneys Dominick S. Gerace and Laura Colombell Marshall are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.