Feds reach deal with online cigarette company

Cigarettes and Gavel
Posted at 3:24 PM, May 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-08 15:24:00-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have reached a $3.1 million settlement with the owners of an online cigarette dealership over taxes owed on the smokes.

The agreement released Thursday requires 48-year-old Israel Chavez of Louisville and his ex-wife, Pam Chavez, to turn over 12 financial accounts, as well as 10,824,192 assorted tobacco products and warehouse equipment.

Israel Chavez pleaded guilty last month to buying cigarettes from another Kentucky dealer and falsifying invoices through an out-of-state company. Prosecutors say the invoices were an attempt to avoid more than $2 million in excise taxes.

The case is linked to the ongoing criminal proceedings against a Florida businessman, who has been in the crosshairs of federal investigators for more than a decade, and two others. All have pleaded not guilty to an alleged tax scheme.