Scranton Man Pleads Guilty to Tobacco Tax Fraud
BOSTON – A Scranton, Pa. man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Springfield to charges relating to tobacco tax evasion.
Irfan Sami, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of wire fraud for his role in a multi-state scheme to defraud Massachusetts and Connecticut of tax revenue relating to cigars and smokeless tobacco. Sami had been charged in November 2014. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Sept. 24, 2015.
Sami, along with a number of co-conspirators, helped wholesale businesses in Springfield and Attleboro, Mass., Danbury, Hamden, and Berlin, Conn. evade state tobacco taxes. Working from a warehouse in Scranton, Sami helped his employer create fake invoices that would be used to make false tobacco tax filings that vastly understated the amount of tobacco tax due.
The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Each count of wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
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.