Two charged after largest seizure of untaxed tobacco in Minnesota history

- A record load of untaxed tobacco products led to charges for two Illinois men last month after they failed to pull over at a weigh station, according to the Washington County Attorney’s Office.

According to the complaint, Minnesota State Patrol stopped Mohammad Majid and Iman Ugurlu, of Bridgeview, Ill. last June, also noticing their truck did not display the required U.S. Department of Transportation number. Police said the men noted they were transporting tobacco, though neither a distributor nor a wholesaler existed at the addresses provided by the men on an invoice—leading police to seize the vehicle and its contents.

Minnesota’s Department of Revenue estimates the seized tobacco is worth over $78,000, which should have yielded over $74,000 in state tax revenue. It was the largest seizure of untaxed tobacco in Minnesota history.

Both men were charged with possession of untaxed tobacco products and forgery. If convicted, they face up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The Department of Revenue has a tip line set up at 651-297-5195 for information on tax law violations. Tips can also be submitted to tax.fraud@state.mn.us.

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