STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Three people were charged on Thursday in connection with an attempt to evade cigarette and tobacco tax, according to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
Fathy D. Seidi, 43, Hashed D. Alsaidi, 35, and Amjad F. Alseidi, 20, were charged with multiple felonies including possession of more than 30,000 untaxed cigarettes, according to a press release from the Department.
All three people are Staten Island residents, though a public address on Staten Island for the three is not available.
Earlier this month investigators searched a home and a detached garage at the 100 block of Catherine Street in Port Richmond and seized 814 cartons of untaxed cigarettes, $63,525 in cash, four vehicles, various documents, computers and phones, the press release said.
Seidi, Alsaidi and Alseidi face fines of up to $600 per carton seized, according to authorities.
“Those who evade their taxes deprive communities and the state of revenue for vital services and put honest businesses at a competitive disadvantage,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “Our Criminal Investigations Division and partners in law enforcement will continue to bring these tax criminals to justice.”
The operation was conducted in conjunction with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations — Newark Office.
“In whatever form the contraband may be, whether it’s untaxed cigarettes, illegal drugs, vehicles or counterfeit goods, Homeland Security Investigations remains committed to stopping the flow of these items, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies,” said Brian Michael, special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations in Newark.
All three defendants are due back to court on Jan. 7, 2020.
An attorney for Seidi was not immediately available for comment on Thursday afternoon.
Alsaidi and Alseidi are represented by the same attorney, who declined any comment on Thursday afternoon.