Two Worcester County Men Sentenced for Trafficking Contraband Smokeless Tobacco To Evade Over $2 Million in Taxes
BOSTON – An Adams man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Springfield yesterday in a conspiracy to traffic in contraband tobacco.
Hasmit Kharbanda, 34, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and three counts of trafficking in contraband smokeless tobacco. In October 2014, Kharbanda and two others were charged in an Information. Kharbanda’s sentencing is scheduled for July 21, 2015 before U.S. District Judge Mark G. Mastroianni.
Kharbanda, two co-defendants, and others, worked together to avoid paying “thousands of dollars in” large sums of excise taxes on smokeless tobacco and cigars they sold from warehouses in Springfield, Mass. and Danbury, Conn. Co-defendants Jugjeev Kharbanda and Jaspal Singh pleaded guilty in January 2015 and October 2014 and are scheduled to be sentenced on June 25, 2015 and April 21, 2015, respectively.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex J. Grant of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Unit and Veronica M. Lei of Ortiz’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.