You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cecil County Liquor Store Owner Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Evade Payment of Taxes on Liquor Smuggled into New York

Agrees to Pay $673,992 in Restitution, the Amount of the Excise Tax Loss

Baltimore, Maryland – Dilip Patel, age 49, of Wilmington, Delaware pleaded guilty today to wire fraud.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Special Agent in Charge Thomas Jankowski of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; and Assistant Administrator for Field Operations Tom Crone, of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

 Patel owned and operated a retail liquor store in Cecil County known as Chesapeake Wine and Spirits.

According to his plea agreement, from January 2011 to June 2012, a number of smugglers from New York City ordered bulk liquor from the store by phone.  The smugglers then drove to the store, paid cash for the bulk liquor, loaded the liquor into their vehicles and drove back to New York City, evading the payment of excise taxes by failing to file reports with the state of New York describing the transportation of the liquor into New York.

Patel has agreed to the entry of an order to pay restitution of $673,992 to the state of New York - the amount of excise tax loss, and forfeit $11,000 seized from a bank account that was the liquor store’s operating account.

Patel faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis has scheduled sentencing for January 7, 2016.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the HSI Baltimore, IRS - Criminal Investigation and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard C. Kay, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 4, 2016