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Owatonna man charged with tobacco-related tax crime

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ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Steele County Attorney’s Office recently charged Mohammad Abdelkader Abusbeih, of Owatonna, with one felony count of possessing untaxed tobacco products.

According to the complaint, Mr. Abusbeih owned a tobacco shop, Mojo Smokes, in Owatonna, Minnesota. The complaint states that during a random compliance check at Mojo Smokes, department investigators allegedly found and seized more than $2,300 worth of untaxed tobacco products. The complaint alleges that Mr. Abusbeih did not have a valid retail tobacco license and could not produce the invoices for the tobacco products in question. According to the complaint, Mr. Abusbeih did not appeal the seizure of the untaxed tobacco products.  

A tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail, a $10,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This is an example of the department’s ongoing efforts to uniformly enforce the state’s cigarette and tobacco laws.  For more information on the tax laws related to tobacco products in Minnesota, visit our website.

Although most taxpayers comply with tax laws voluntarily, the Minnesota Department of Revenue takes enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers to ensure that tax laws are administered fairly.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects that a person or business is violating Minnesota tax laws.  Local callers may dial 651-297-5195 or call toll-free by dialing 1-800-657-3500.  Tips can also be submitted to the department via email at tax.fraud@state.mn.usTipsters may choose to remain anonymous.

Get the latest news and updates from the Minnesota Department of Revenue by following the department on Facebook and Twitter or by signing up for our email subscription list.

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Ryan Brown
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