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News Link • TAXES: State

Accountant admits cigarette tax conspiracy

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A Pawtucket accountant has pleaded guilty of conspiring to bring $1.2 million worth of contraband cigarettes to Rhode Island from Virginia, where the cigarette tax is low.

Bassam Kiriaki, 46, also admitted conspiring to defraud the food stamp program, it was announced Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Kiriaki issued the pleas Monday in U.S. District Court.

Kiriaki and six others were indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2013, charged with allegedly participating in a complex conspiracy to import cigarettes from Virginia into Rhode Island where they were sold in convenience stores and other locations allegedly owned or operated by members of the conspiracy....

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