Longmeadow man sentenced for tobacco tax fraud, illegal cash-checking business

MGN Online
MGN Online(Source: MGN)
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 8:21 PM EDT
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BOSTON, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - A Longmeadow man was sentenced in federal court on Thursday, September 15th, for two separate cases involving the evasion of payment of tobacco sales tax and operating an illegal check cashing business.

According to U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Rachel Rollins, 67-year-old Satish Kumar of Longmeadow was sentenced to one year of probation by a judge.

Officials said that Kumar pleaded guilty to one count conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering for a case back in November 2015.

They added that Kumar also pleaded guilty to one count of failure to register a money transmitting business in a second case.

Kumar reportedly bought a wholesale warehouse business in Berlin, Connecticut, in 2006. Rollins said that he “systematically evaded Connecticut state tobacco taxes, in selling cigars and smokeless tobacco to convenience stores and gas stations.” He then failed to pay the required tobacco excise taxes, paying only 2% of the taxed owed.

That business was then sold in 2008, however Kumar continued to receive money from the continuous tax fraud occurring at the Connecticut warehouse.

In June of 2012, federal agents executed a search warrant of the warehouse and 12 other locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, stopping the fraud.

The six-years of tax fraud caused the evasion of $16 million in taxes to the state of Connecticut.

Rollins said that the illegal check cashing case involved Kumar’s liquor store in Springfield, Massachusetts, which “acted as an unregistered money transmitting business.”

According to officials, Kumar would cash checks without the required registration, even though he was warned against doing so by his bank. 195 United States Treasury tax refund checks were cashed, worth approximately $1.2 million which was obtained through fraudulent returned filed through the IRS.

The two cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher L. Morgan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Breslow of Rollins’ Springfield Branch Office.