Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced his office charged the owner and operator of four convenience stores in Central Illinois for allegedly defrauding the state out of more than $100,000 in sales tax revenue.
Raoul’s office charged Surjit Singh, 38, of Clinton, Illinois, in Sangamon County Circuit Court on Thursday with two counts of theft of government property, Class X felonies punishable by six to 30 years in prison; four counts of sales tax evasion, Class 2 felonies punishable by three to seven years in prison; nine counts of filing fraudulent sales tax returns, Class 3 felonies punishable by two to five years in prison; and one count of forgery, a Class 3 felony punishable by two to five years in prison. Singh’s bond was set at $100,000, and his next court date is scheduled for May 22.
“Individuals who steal from the state take away resources that are needed to fund the vital programs and services Illinoisans rely upon every day,” Raoul said. “I appreciate the partnership of the Illinois Department of Revenue as we work to root out fraud and hold individuals accountable.”
Singh is the owner of four Central Illinois convenience stores: Pari Foods Inc. in Clinton, Lake Shore Stop LLC in Decatur, Chandlerville Food Inc. in Chandlerville, and Seeret Ayzel Inc. in Winchester. According to Raoul, Singh failed to remit sales tax money collected from customers to the state of Illinois. In addition, Singh is alleged to have underreported sales to the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR), resulting in a criminal sales tax liability of more than $100,000 between the four stores.
The investigation was conducted by the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations Division.
“When business owners avoid paying their taxes, other hard-working Illinoisans have to shoulder the burden,” said IDOR Director David Harris. “The Department of Revenue will continue to work closely with the Attorney General’s Office to prosecute those who break the law and ensure they are held accountable.”
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Deputy Bureau Chief Victor Turla and Assistant Attorney General Mansoor Broachwala are handling the case for Raoul’s Special Prosecutions Bureau.