A Longmeadow man has been convicted of tobacco tax evasion and illegal check-cashing. USAO-MA

BOSTON – A Longmeadow man was sentenced Sept. 15, 2022, in federal court in Springfield on charges of evading tobacco sales tax and operating an illegal check cashing business.

Satish Kumar, 67, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark. G. Mastroianni on probation for one year. In the year In November 2015, Kumar pleaded guilty to one count of one count, three counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. In the second case, Kumar pleaded guilty to one count of failing to register a money-transmitting transaction.

In the year In 2006, Kumar bought a wholesale warehouse business in Berlin, where Kumar systematically evaded Connecticut state tobacco taxes by selling cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to convenience stores and gas stations. Kumar consistently failed to pay the required tobacco excise tax to Connecticut, paying only two percent of the tax due. In the year In 2008, Kumar sold the business, but continued to profit from ongoing tobacco tax fraud at the Berlin warehouse. In June 2012, the scam was stopped when federal agents executed search warrants at the Berlin warehouse and 12 other locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. During the six-year scheme, Kumar and others helped the state of Connecticut evade more than $16 million in taxes.

In the illegal check-cashing case, Kumar owned a liquor store in Springfield, Mass., that operated as an unregistered money-transmitting business. Despite warnings from the bank, Kumar deposited the checks without the necessary registration. Among the checks seized were 195 United States Treasury tax refund checks totaling nearly $1.2 million in fraudulent IRS returns.

United States Attorney Rachel S. Rollins; James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Jolene D. Simpson, special agent in charge of criminal investigations for the Internal Revenue Service in Boston; Massachusetts Department of Revenue Commissioner Jeffrey E. Snyder; Connecticut Department of Revenue Acting Commissioner John Billo; And Matthew B. Milhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England, announced. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher L. Morgan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Brelow of Rollins’ Springfield office prosecuted the cases.

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