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March 30, 2017

MADIGAN: DUPAGE COUNTY STORE MANAGER IN CUSTODY FOR TAX FRAUD

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that a DuPage County tobacco store manager surrendered today to law enforcement after pleading guilty to defrauding the state out of more than $200,000.

Abdullah Dahleh, 36, of Oak Lawn, pleaded guilty to filing a fraudulent tax return and was sentenced to two years in prison. Dahleh was also ordered to pay over $200,000 to the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR).

Between 2011 and 2014, Dahleh underreported over $2.79 million in sales to the IDOR as manager of Outlet Tobacco Inc., which operates as Tobacco Outlet Cigarettes, Cigars & More in suburban Willowbrook. Madigan charged Dahleh in 2016 for underreporting the sales and state tax fraud of over $200,000.

"The defendant defrauded the state out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for his personal profit," Madigan said. "We will continue our work to hold dishonest business owners accountable for illegally profiting at the expense of the state."

The investigation was conducted by the IDOR's Criminal Investigations Division.

"I commend the Attorney General's office and Revenue's Criminal Investigations Division for their efforts in securing a guilty plea in this case," said Connie Beard, Illinois Department of Revenue Director.

Madigan's Special Prosecutions Bureau and the IDOR investigate and prosecute tobacco store owners and operators who defraud the state by evading sales tax payments. Since increasing efforts to investigate and prosecute these cases, the state has successfully prosecuted over 100 tax evasion cases related to the illegal transportation, unlawful possession or unreported sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products, and defendants have been ordered to pay over $9 million in reimbursements to the state. Additionally, the state has seized 32,000 cartons of illegal cigarettes and over 165,000 packs of other tobacco products.

Assistant Attorney General Victor Turla handled the case for Madigan's Special Prosecutions Bureau.

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