Attorney General Madigan: Will County couple indicted for tax fraud

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that a married Plainfield couple has been indicted for allegedly defrauding the state out of more than $400,000 in sales tax revenue.

Jamal Hussein, 44, and Lucinda Hussein, 41, were charged today with multiple tax-related felony counts in Will County Circuit Court. Jamal Hussein was charged with more than 50 felony counts in two separate indictments. Charges included one count of sales tax evasion of more than $100,000, a Class 1 felony; one count of sales tax evasion of more than $10,000, a Class 2 felony; and dozens of counts of filing fraudulent sales tax returns, wire fraud and filing fraudulent tobacco products tax returns, all Class 3 felonies. If convicted, Jamal Hussein faces up to 30 years in prison. Lucinda Hussein was charged with six counts of failing to file an Illinois sales tax return, a Class 3 felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Madigan alleged that from January 2011 until September 2015, the Husseins underreported more than $4.2 million in taxable sales from their Plainfield business, Burning Leaf Cigars, Inc. As a result of the scheme, the state lost approximately $465,112.04 in sales tax.

“Business owners who fail to pay their sales taxes are stealing from the state, and we will find those individuals and hold them accountable to taxpayers,” said Madigan.

Jamal Hussein’s bond was set at $50,000 and Lucinda Hussein’s bond was set at $25,000. Their next court appearance will be Oct. 23.

The investigation was conducted by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR).

“Individuals who defraud our tax system and unfairly disadvantage businesses that play by the rules must be held accountable,” said Connie Beard, director of IDOR. “The Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation Division, together with the Attorney General’s office, will investigate and prosecute those who disregard our tax system.”

Assistant Attorney General James Rustik is handling the case for Madigan’s Special Prosecutions Bureau.

The public is reminded that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.