AG: Suburban tobacco store manager cheated state out of nearly $400K in sales taxes

The owner of a west suburban tobacco shop cheated the state out of nearly $400,000 in tax revenues by filing fraudulent sales returns that understated sales at the business, according to state prosecutors.

Tale Aburukbeh, 37, managed the Valentine Tobacco Shop in Glendale Heights, and from August 2011 through July 2014, he filed sales tax returns “understating the business’ sales tax liability in the amount of over $391,000,” according to a statement from the Attorney General’s office.

He was indicted this week in DuPage County Circuit Court on charges of theft of government property over $100,000, sales tax evasion over $100,000, sales tax evasion over $10,000, wire fraud and filing a false tax return, according to prosecutors. All of the charges are felonies, with theft of government property a Class X non-probationable felony.

Aburukbeh faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. He was ordered held on a $250,000 bond and will next appear in court Sept. 1 in Wheaton.

“This should send a message to people who try to defraud the state by lying about their tax liability; you will suffer the consequences,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in the statement.