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Department of Taxation and Finance

2 Separate Arrests in Peekskill for Violating Tobacco, Cigarette Tax Laws One had 6,633 untaxed cigars; the other found with 159 cigarette packs containing counterfeit tax stamps

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

cigarette and tobacco products

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced the arrest of two men in Peekskill for violating the State's cigarette and tobacco product tax laws.

The arrests were made in two different shops, at different times, but for similar crimes - selling tobacco products that weren't properly taxed according to State law.

"By rooting out tax evaders, we work to ensure a fair and level playing field for all businesses in the State," said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. "Untaxed cigarettes often end up in the hands of minors, and have an adverse impact on funding for health care programs."

On June 25, Investigators with the Department's Cigarette Strike Force inspected Abuhamzah Deli Inc., 501 Highland Ave., Peekskill, and discovered 6,633 untaxed cigars.  Salah M. Saleh, 36, of 501 Highland Ave., Peekskill, was charged with possession of untaxed tobacco.  He was issued a ticket to appear in Peekskill City Court on July 16th.

The same day, investigators conducted a cigarette inspection at Stop & Go Friend Corp. located at 730 South St., also in Peekskill. In total, the investigators seized 159 packages of cigarettes with counterfeit tax stamps. 

Sultan Ahmed Mosleh Ali, 28 was charged with criminal tax fraud and felony possession of counterfeit tax stamps. The defendant was processed at the Peekskill Police Department and remanded to the Westchester County Jail.

Both cases will be prosecuted by the Westchester District Attorney's office.  A criminal complaint is an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

These are just two of the 12 arrests made by the Department's Cigarette Strike Force in the last month alone. These highly trained investigators, stationed across New York State, have removed more than $1.27 million worth of illicit cigars and cigarettes from the streets during the first six months of 2015.

Penalties for those caught in possession of untaxed tobacco are severe. So far this year, the Department has issued penalties totaling more than $2.7 million dollars in tobacco-related cases.   

Report fraud
You can report tax evasion and fraud online at the Tax Department's Web site or by calling 518-457-0578. The information is kept confidential.

Collage of pictures from arrests
Abuhamzah Deli Inc. confiscated tobacco
Stop & Go Friend Corp. seized cigarettes, Photo 1
Stop & Go Friend Corp. seized cigarettes, Photo 2