Western Mass. Man In Trouble For Tobacco Tax Fraud & Illegal Check-Cashing
A western Massachusetts man was recently sentenced in federal court in Springfield for committing crimes in connection with not paying sales tax on tobacco and operating an illegal check-cashing business. He's been busy.
The Department of Justice in Boston(DOJ) reports Satish Kumar, 67, of Longmeadow, was sentenced to one year of probation by U.S. District Court Judge Mark. G. Mastroianni on September 15, 2022.
According to the DOJ, Kumar bought a wholesale warehouse business back in 2006 in Connecticut and proceeded to systematically evade Connecticut state tobacco taxes while selling cigars and smokeless tobacco products to gas stations and convenience stores.
Kumar continuously failed to pay the state of Connecticut the required tobacco excise taxes and instead only paid 2% of the tax he owed. He ended up eventually selling the business but continued to receive proceeds from the ongoing tax fraud at the Berlin, Connecticut warehouse.
The fraud ended in 2012 when federal agents executed a search warrant on not only the warehouse, but 12 other locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Come to find out, Kumar and others helped to evade more than $16 million in taxes owed to Connecticut.
As for the illegal check-cashing case, Kumar also owned a Springfield, MA liquor store that also acted as an unregistered money transmitting business. Despite multiple warnings from his bank, Kumar continued cashing checks without the required registration.
According to court documents:
Among the checks cashed were 195 United States Treasury tax refund checks worth approximately $1.2 million obtained through fraudulent returns filed with the IRS.
For more on the story, check out the Department of Justice's website here.