9 Chicago-area liquor store operators charged with sales tax evasion

CHICAGO (STMW) - Nine area liquor store operators were charged Thursday with sales tax evasion.

From July 2010 to December 2013, the nine defendants collectively defrauded the state out of more than $3.5 million in sales taxes, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s office.

Charges were filed against:

Abdel Fattah Hammad, 41, of Tinley Park: Al Muflihi Food & Liquors;
Cherag Patel, 39, of South Bend, Ind.: AB Food and Liquor;
Dipakkumar Patel, 41, of Munster, Ind.: Jeff’s Food and Liquor;
Jiggarkumar Patel, 37, of Schaumburg: AB Food and Liquor;
Mukesh Patel, 62, of Des Plaines: Buddy’s Wine & Spirits;
Nishant Patel, 33, of Des Plaines: Liquors Galore (doing business as Maple Park Wine & Spirits), Buddy’s Wine & Spirits, and Madison Food and Spirits;
Rajanikant Patel, 44, of Hoffman Estates: Quickstop Food and Liquor;
Vishal Patel, 31, of Des Plaines: Buddy’s Wine & Spirits; and
Yasir Kanan, 38, of Oak Lawn: Jeff’s Food and Liquor.
Seven operators were charged with sales tax evasion of more than $100,000; Yasir Kanan and Dipakkumar Patel were charged with sales tax evasion of more than $10,000, according to state prosecutors.

Five of those charged were arrested Wednesday morning by Illinois Department of Revenue special agents, with the assistance of Bridgeview and Palos Hills police, according to prosecutors.

Kanan and Dipakkumar Patel were ordered held on $25,000 bonds, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office. Bond for Cherag Patel, Nishant Patel, Rajanikant Patel and Vishal Patel was set at $50,000. They are all expected to appear in court again Oct. 8.

Court information was not immediately available for Hammad, Jiggarkumar Patel and Mukesh Patel.

The charges are the result of a two-year criminal tax investigation into untaxed liquor brought in from out of state.

“This should send a message that doing business in Illinois means following the state’s laws without exception,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan in the statement.

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