Tobacco Importer Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud & Weapon Charge

Modified: May 17, 2018 4:45pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 55-year-old Mohamed Alabadi of Lackawanna pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski to Criminal Tax Fraud in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree.

Between January 14, 2014 and April 30, 2016, the defendant, owner of M&J Tobacco Wholesale, significantly under reported the amount of tobacco products imported by his company on his tax returns. The unpaid taxes owed to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance totaled $683,379.64.

On April 7, 2016, while executing a search warrant as part of the tax fraud investigation, a semi-automatic rifle was seized from the defendant’s home.

Alabadi faces a maximum of 22 years in prison when he is sentenced on Monday, August 13 at 9:30 a.m.

At the time of his plea, the defendant agreed to pay back $100,000 prior to sentencing and signed a confession of judgment to repay the remaining amount.

DA Flynn commends the investigative work of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Assistant District Attorney Kelley A. Omel of the DA’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Bureau prosecuted the case.