Nine Chicago liquor store operators were charged Thursday with sales tax evasion.
From July 2010 to December 2013, the nine defendants collectively defrauded the state out of more than $3.5 million in sales taxes, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s office.
Charges were filed against:
Abdel Fattah Hammad, 41, of Tinley Park, IL: Al Muflihi Food & Liquors;
Cherag Patel, 39, of South Bend, IN: AB Food and Liquor;
Dipakkumar Patel, 41, of Munster, IN: Jeff’s Food and Liquor;
Jiggarkumar Patel, 37, of Schaumburg, IL: AB Food and Liquor;
Mukesh Patel, 62, of Des Plaines, IL: Buddy’s Wine & Spirits;
Nishant Patel, 33, of Des Plaines, IL: Liquors Galore (doing business as Maple Park Wine & Spirits), Buddy’s Wine & Spirits, and Madison Food and Spirits;
Rajanikant Patel, 44, of Hoffman Estates, IL: Quickstop Food and Liquor;
Vishal Patel, 31, of Des Plaines, Illinois: Buddy’s Wine & Spirits; and
Yasir Kanan, 38, of Oak Lawn, IL: Jeff’s Food and Liquor.
Seven operators were charged with sales tax evasion of more than $100,000, a Class 1 felony punishable by up to four to 15 years in prison. Yasir Kanan and Dipakkumar Patel were charged with sales tax evasion of more than $10,000, a Class 2 felony punishable by up to three to seven years in prison, according to the statement.
Five of those charged were arrested yesterday morning by Illinois Department of Revenue special agents, with the assistance of the Bridgeview and Palos Hills Police Departments, according to the statement.
All nine defendants were scheduled to appear in bond court Thursday, according to the statement. Court information wasn’t immediately available.
The charges are the result of a two-year criminal tax investigation into untaxed liquor brought in from out of state by the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation Division.
“This should send a message that doing business in Illinois means following the state’s laws without exception,” said Attorney General Lisa Madigan in a statement.