Four gas station owners charged with tax fraud
Four area gas station owners charged with defrauding the state of more than $1 million in sales tax revenues are the latest to be caught in statewide sting of tax cheats, according to state prosecutors.
Those arrested, according to a statement from the Illinois Attorney General’s office:
— Gurmeet Bhola, 56, of Lincolnwood, who owns Bhola Gas & Food in Sauk Village, has been charged with two counts of mail fraud and 31 counts of filing a fraudulent state tax return. He is charged with a scheme to defraud the state out of more than $500,000 between January 2007 and July 2012.
— Samson Kadamandla, 54, of Chicago, who owns NRK Inc. in Chicago, has been charged with two counts of mail fraud and 29 counts of filing fraudulent state tax return. He is charged with evading more than $300,000 in taxes between January 2008 and May 2012.
— Anthony Wabeh, 53, of Skokie, who owns TWI Petro Group, has been charged with one count of mail fraud and five counts of filing a fraudulent state tax return. He is charged with evading more than $180,000 in taxes between June 2008 and February at his four Rockford stations.
— Nawaz Mirza, 58, of Lombard, who owns Mirza Enterprises in Villa Park, was charged with two counts of mail fraud and 18 counts of filing a fraudulent state tax return. He is charged with evading more than $90,000 in taxes between January 2009 and December 2011.
Bhola, Kadamandla and Mirza were arrested and freed on bond, the statement said. Wabeh was arraigned Wednesday and also freed on bond.
The arrests are part of a joint operation between the attorney general’s office and the Illinois Dept. of Revenue that has so far recovered nearly $85 million from gas station operators who evade sales tax payments, the statement said.
“The defendants have illegally profited at the expense of the state and Illinois taxpayers,” AG Lisa Madigan said in the statement.
“This round of indictments demonstrates our standing commitment to hold dishonest business owners accountable for committing state tax fraud.”