Tobacco Importer Gets Prison Term for Evading $13 Million in Federal Excise Taxes
The Department of Justice reports that a Florida man has been sentenced to a consecutive term of 48 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay more than $9 million in restitution to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for fraudulently evading $13 million in federal taxes on imported cigars.
According to court records, the man was the owner of a company licensed to import tobacco products, including cigars. He consistently underpaid the federal tobacco excise tax due on imported cigars and, in an attempt to cover up the scheme, altered documents to conceal the price he paid for foreign-made cigars. The man continued to underpay these taxes after May 2015, when he was convicted and placed on federal probation for evading the federal tobacco excise tax on cigarettes. The man was previously sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment for violating the terms of his probation.