MADIGAN, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE: GAS STATION OWNERS CHARGED IN
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) announced charges today against four Chicago area gas station owners for defrauding the state of more than $1 million in sales taxes. The cases are the latest crackdown in a joint operation that to date has recovered nearly $85 million owed to Illinois from gas station operators who evade sales tax payments.
Madigan filed the following charges against the four gas station owners for underreporting gasoline sales in order to evade sales tax payments to the state:
“The defendants have illegally profited at the expense of the state and Illinois taxpayers,” Madigan said. “This round of indictments demonstrates our standing commitment to hold dishonest business owners accountable for committing state tax fraud.”
“I have been pleased to see that courts around the state have imposed increasingly tough sanctions on individuals who file false tax returns and defraud the state of taxes on behalf of gas stations,” said Revenue Director Brian Hamer.
Defendants Bhola, Kadamandla and Mirza were arrested and freed on bond. Wabeh was arraigned earlier today and was freed on bond.
The crackdown on gas station owners, now in its third year, has led to a new law in Illinois to penalize these criminals. The law, which was an initiative of Madigan’s office and took effect in January, established stronger penalties and strengthened prosecutors’ ability to pursue Illinois businesses and retailers that evade remitting sales taxes to the state. The law created the new crime of sales tax evasion and imposed graduated penalties based on the amount of sales taxes that were evaded.
The cases were investigated by IDOR’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Assistant Attorneys General Anshuman Vaidya, Jim Rustik and Kathleen Duhig are handling the prosecution for Madigan’s Special Prosecutions Bureau.