Given Hezbollah’s involvement in bootleg cigarette operations in the late 1990s in North Carolina and Michigan, this raises some interesting questions…
A Pawtucket accountant has pleaded guilty of conspiring to bring $1.2 million worth of contraband cigarettes to Rhode Island from Virginia, where the cigarette tax is low.
Bassam Kiriaki, 46, also admitted conspiring to defraud the food stamp program, it was announced Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Kiriaki issued the pleas Monday in U.S. District Court.
Kiriaki and six others were indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2013, charged with allegedly participating in a complex conspiracy to import cigarettes from Virginia into Rhode Island where they were sold in convenience stores and other locations allegedly owned or operated by members of the conspiracy and others, Neronha said in a news release. The conspiracy allegedly resulted in the loss of more than $1 million dollars in state tax revenue.