Smoke ’em if You (Illegally) Got ’em: Man Admits Role in NJ Cigarette Scheme
A man from Queens, New York, has admitted his role in a scheme involving contraband cigarettes that cost the State of New Jersey nearly $600,000 in tax revenue.
39-year-old Obadah Saleh pleaded guilty in a U.S. district courtroom Wednesday to conspiracy to traffic in contraband cigarettes.
U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig says from October, 2014, to October, 2019, Saleh worked with various people to buy and sell millions of dollars worth of untaxed, contraband cigarettes. Cops believe those cigarettes were stolen from large shipments from manufacturers.
Authorities say, "Saleh and his conspirators often made these purchases with large sums of cash. Saleh and his conspirators deprived the state of New Jersey of more than $594,000 in taxes as a result of this conspiracy."
The charge to which Saleh pleaded guilty to could land him in prison for up to five years with a $250,000 fine.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 2nd.