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October 10, 2013

MADIGAN: PEORIA AREA BUSINESSMAN SENTENCED ON CHARGES OF FILING FALSE TAX RETURN AND MAIL FRAUD

Springfield — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a Peoria area gas station owner was sentenced to federal prison in return for his guilty plea to state and federal charges of mail fraud and filing a false tax return.

Lakhvir Nijher, also known as Tony Nijher, 51, of Metamora, was sentenced to 45 months after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Peoria to one count of mail fraud and 36 months, to be served concurrently, for filing a false federal corporate tax return. Judge James E. Shadid ordered Nijher to report to federal prison on December 31. In addition, Nijher must also pay $739,184 in restitution.

“This successful prosecution is the result of collaboration with our federal law enforcement partners to ensure that those who illegally enrich themselves are investigated and incarcerated,” Madigan said.

Nijher was accused of failing to pay an estimated $1 million in federal and Illinois state tax revenue after an investigation revealed that he provided accountants with false information and underreported sales from 2006 through 2010 that led directly to the filing of false federal corporate income tax returns and false monthly Illinois sales tax returns for Heights BP, formerly Peoria Heights BP, 4430 N. Prospect Rd. and Nijher Mart in Washington, Ill. Nijher’s conviction on mail fraud is the result of mailing a false monthly sales tax return to the Illinois Department of Revenue in Springfield.

Assistant Attorney General Gene Bian of Madigan’s Special Prosecutions Bureau assisted with the investigation and prosecution of this case with Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Darilynn J. Knauss, IDOR’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Internal Revenue Services, Criminal Investigation Division.

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