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November 6, 2013

MADIGAN, DEPT. OF REVENUE: CHICAGO AREA GAS STATION OWNER JAILED IN TAX FRAUD CASE

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) announced today that a Chicago area gas station owner pled guilty and was jailed for defrauding the state of gasoline sales taxes. The case is one of dozens in an ongoing criminal enforcement operation that to date has recovered $82 million owed to the state from gas station operators who evade sales tax payments.

Earlier today, Simon J. Abraham, 50, of Bloomingdale, appeared before DuPage County Circuit Court Judge John J. Kinsella and pled guilty to filing a fraudulent sales and use tax return, a Class 3 felony. Abraham was sentenced to 105 days of jail time with work release and was ordered to pay $50,000 for defrauding the state by underreporting sales taxes at his Bloomingdale gas station S.J. Oil Inc., 102 E. Lake St.

“Our ongoing enforcement efforts continue to recoup taxes for the state,” Madigan said. “This is yet another defendant who is going to pay for trying to cheat the state.”

“We’re seeing better compliance among retail gas station owners and other retailers who are coming to understand that we’re aggressively prosecuting failure to comply with Illinois tax laws,” said Brian Hamer, Director of Revenue.

The crackdown on gas station owners, now in its third year, has led to a new law in Illinois to penalize these criminals. The law, which was an initiative of Madigan’s office and took effect in January, established stronger penalties and strengthened prosecutors’ ability to pursue Illinois businesses and retailers that evade remitting sales taxes to the state. The law created the new crime of Sales Tax Evasion and imposed graduated penalties based on the amount of sales taxes that were evaded.

This case was investigated by IDOR’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Duhig handled prosecution of the case for Madigan’s Special Prosecutions Bureau.

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