Homer Glen tobacco shop operator charged with tax fraud

(HOMER GLEN) The operator of a southwest suburban tobacco store has been charged with defrauding the state of Illinois out of more than $400,000 in sales taxes.

Mazen M. Nassar, 38, is charged with felony counts of sales tax evasion of over $100,000, money laundering of over $10,000, wire fraud and filing a fraudulent sales tax return, according to a statement from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office.

Nassar is accused of underreporting more than $5.8 million in sales between January 2011 and February 2014 from Smokers Expo, 12330 W. 143rd St. in Homer Glen, prosecutors said. His underreporting defrauded the state out of more than $465,000.

Nassar, of Orland Park, was previously convicted in 2012 of conspiring to purchase contraband cigarettes without tax stamps on them, the attorney general’s office said. He was sentenced to a year in prison.

“This defendant once again sought to evade tax laws at the expense of the state and Illinois taxpayers,” Madigan said in the statement. “We will continue to hold these offenders accountable.”

The various charges against Nassar are punishable by sentences ranging from two to 15 years in prison, prosecutors said. He was ordered held on a $550,000 bond.