Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Thursday that a cooperative effort between her office and the state's Department of Revenue has recovered nearly $13 million in back gasoline sales taxes.
"We go to the gas station to fill up our tank, we pay that money to the gas station owner, who is then supposed to pay it to the state of Illinois. Instead they put it in their pocket," she said.
The scofflaws "pocketed tens of millions of dollars that should be going to the state," Madigan said.
And especially during a time of economic challenges, the lack of revenue puts an increased burden on those people who do pay up.
Six gas station owners and operators statewide have been indicted for tax evasion.
– Muzaffar Jameel, 47, of Harwood Heights, who operates two gas stations. One is a Mobil at 4000 N. Western Ave. in Chicago. The other is a Phillips 66 at 6001 W. 35th Ave. in Cicero. He was charged with 14 countes of sales tax fraud for the period November 2007 to December 2008.
– Joy Chemmachel, 47, of Skokie, who operates three stations: Hickory Hills Gas Depot, 8801 W. 87th St. in Hickory Hills; Dempster and Ozarth Shell at 7736 W. Dempster St. in Morton Grove, and Fullerton and Pulaski Shell at 3959 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. She was charged with 19 counts of sales tax fraud for the period November 2007 to May 2009.
– John Kottoor, 54, of Orland Park, and Joy Matthew Kottoor, 58, of Morton Grove. They operate Stickney Shell at 3901 S. Harlem Ave. Each was charged with 10 countes of sales tax fraud for the period November 2007 to September 2008.
– Abdelmomen Abdallah, 33, of Peoria, who operates Road Runner at 2412 N. Sheridan Rd. in Peoria. He was charged with 16 counts of sales tax fraud for the period November 2007 through February 2009.
– Dineshbhai Patel, 57, of Morton, who operates Shell at 2009 S. Main St. in Morton. He is charged with 16 counts of sales tax fraud for the period July 2007 through October 2009.