The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced the arrest of two Brooklyn men for possession of over 100,000 counterfeit tax stamps with an estimated black market value of over half a million dollars. The seizure also included over 2,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes.
Mohammad S. Islam and Abhijit Das were arrested after search warrants were executed on Monday, March 12th for two businesses, Fulton Deli and Convenience, Inc. at 707 Fulton St., and Jessie Conveniences, Inc. at 477 Myrtle Avenue, both in Brooklyn.
Further, search warrants were also executed at an apartment above Jessie Conveniences as well as a garage behind the store and a mini-van registered to Mr. Islam. Over $130,000 was confiscated from money believed to be obtained by the defendants from illegal sales.
The New York State Tax Department conducted the investigation in partnership with the New York City Police Department and the Sheriff's Office of the New York City Department of Finance. The Kings County District Attorney's Office will prosecute the case.
"This is another example of the state working with local governments to prosecute illegal sales of cigarettes," said New York State Tax Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox. "I want to thank the NYPD, the NYC Department of Finance and the State Tax Department staff who pursued this investigation. I'd also like to thank the King's and Queen's County District Attorney's Offices for their assistance."
The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.