Tobacco store owner charged with tax fraud

The owner of a Bridgeview tobacco store has been charged with under reporting nearly $1 million in sales of tobacco products, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a news release Tuesday.

Nasar Suheil, 45, of Bridgeview, was charged with tax fraud, money laundering and forgery for allegedly defrauding the state out of nearly $336,000 in tax revenue, according to the release.

Between May and September 2014, Suheil allegedly underreported more than $928,000 in sales at the store, 9250 S. Harlem Ave., to the state revenue department, according to Madigan.

Suheil operated a scheme to avoid reporting sales by his business, E & N Corp., by making it appear that sales were being made to an Indiana distributor, according to the attorney general. Under Illinois law, sales to out-of-state corporations are tax exempt.

According to Madigan, Suheil directed an employee to establish a corporation in Indiana, Istanbul Enterprises, under the employee's name. Suheil gave the employee cash and instructions to deposit the money into Istanbul Enterprises' account, according to the release.

Under the guise that Istanbul Enterprises was purchasing tobacco products from E&N, the money would then be wired back to E&N without Suheil having reported the sales as taking place in Illinois or paying state tobacco product taxes, Madigan said.