9 Indian American Businessmen Charged With Tax Evasion in Chicago

Top row, from left: Cherag Patel, Dipakkumar Patel, Nishant Patel. Bottom row, from left: Rajanikant Patel, Vishal Patel, Yasir Kanan. | Cook County sheriff's office

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced charges against nine Chicago liquor store operators after a two-year criminal tax investigation; they 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.

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.

Law enforcement authorities filed charges against Cherag Patel, Dipak Kumar Patel, Jiggar Kumar Patel, Mukesh Patel, Nishant Patel, Rajanikant Patel and Vishal Patel following a two-year criminal tax investigation, according to a statement from the attorney general’s office.

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Seven operators were charged with sales tax evasion of more than USD 100,000, a Class 1 felony punishable by up to four to 15 years in prison.

Yasir Kanan and Dipak Kumar were charged with sales tax evasion of more than USD 10,000, a Class 2 felony punishable by up to three to seven years in prison, according to the statement.

Five of those charged were arrested yesterday by Illinois Department of Revenue special agents, the report said.

All nine defendants were scheduled to appear in bond court yesterday, according to the statement but information on the same was not immediately available.

The charges are the result of the criminal probe into untaxed liquor brought in from out of the state by the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigation Division.

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

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