The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced the arrest of a Queens resident for the illegal transportation, storing and sale of untaxed contraband cigarettes.
The defendant was identified as Hassan Aidibi, 39, of 5148 Hillyer Street, Elmhurst, NY. He was arrested at a garage in Bronx located at 2945 Radcliff Avenue. Investigators seized 942 cartons of untaxed out-of-state stamped contraband cigarettes, one BMW automobile and $1,651 in cash.
Aidibi was charged at the 49th Precinct of the New York Police Department with four felonies related to the possession or transport for sale of 10,000 cigarettes or more. Investigators believe the cigarettes came from six different states, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He was released on his own recognizance. A court date for his next appearance was set for March 11, 2014.
The combined State and New York City tax amount on the cigarettes Aidibi allegedly dodged totaled approximately $56,220.
The case was investigated by the Tax Department’s Criminal Investigations Division and will be prosecuted by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. According to the New York State Tax Law, penalty amounts could range from $30 to $600 per carton seized.
Report tax evasion or fraud Investigators said surveillance on this case started after an anonymous tip to the Tax Department.
If you suspect someone is evading taxes by selling untaxed cigarettes, you can report it to the Department by calling 518-457-0578.
A criminal complaint is an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.