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Champlin man charged with tax crime

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ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Anoka County Attorney’s Office recently charged Valentin V. Andonii, of Champlin, with one felony count of possessing a controlled substance without the appropriate stamp, label, or other indication that the Controlled Substance Tax was paid on the product. Mr. Andonii was also charged with two additional felonies for possession and sale of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols.

According to the complaint, law enforcement officers seized 76,972 vape cartridges during the execution of a search warrant at Mr. Andonii’s residence. The complaint states that lab testing of the vapor products showed they contained a THC level of over 0.3%, making them a Schedule 1 controlled substance and subject to Minnesota’s Controlled Substance Tax. The complaint alleges that none of the seized products had a stamp, label, or other indication showing that Mr. Andonii had paid the Controlled Substance Tax. According to the complaint, Mr. Andonii owes over $3 million in unpaid taxes.

“The Controlled Substance Tax law is a tool that the department and law enforcement can use to get illegal and harmful products off the streets,” said Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. “This tax charge should serve as a deterrent to anyone smuggling or selling illegal controlled substances in Minnesota. It shows that the state will use the full extent of the law in order to keep illegal vapor products off the market and keep Minnesotans safe and healthy.”

Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison, a $14,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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

Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from public tips. There is 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 by email at tax.fraud@state.mn.us. Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous. 

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Ryan Brown
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