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Press Release

Dominican Man Sentenced To 18 Months’ Imprisonment For Evading Tobacco Excise Taxes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Jose Dominguez, age 58, of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson to 18 months’ imprisonment for conspiring to evade federal excise taxes on imported large cigars.  Dominguez was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Dominguez owned and operated the Dominican-based cigar manufacturer Victor Sinclair Cigars.  Dominguez previously admitted that he conspired to evade the excise taxes imposed on the importation of Victor Sinclair manufactured cigars from 2009 to 2012.  Dominguez’s co-conspirators included his U.S. importers, Donna Venturini and Hope Carbone, both of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.  During the conspiracy, Dominguez, Venturini, and Carbone collected approximately $3.9 million in excise taxes from U.S. purchasers of Victor Sinclair manufactured cigars.  By using fraudulent invoices, the co-conspirators paid only approximately $2.1 million to the government, unlawfully retaining approximately $1.8 million for themselves.  As part of his sentence, Dominguez was ordered to pay restitution.

Venturini and Carbone also pleaded guilty.  They were sentenced to two years of probation in August 2022.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Department of Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carlo D. Marchioli, Joseph J. Terz, and Michael A. Consiglio prosecuted the case.

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Updated November 22, 2022