New Hampshire Man Sentenced for Wire Fraud in Scheme to Defraud State of Tax Revenue

by Andrew Murray | June 26th, 2019

On June 18, 2019, the Department of Justice announced that Imtiaz Shaikh received a 16-month sentence for his participation in a wire fraud scheme that aimed to defraud New Hampshire of tobacco excise tax revenue. The Press Release states:

United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today that Imtiaz Shaikh, 46, of Manchester was sentenced on Monday to 16 months in prison for participating in a wire fraud scheme to defraud the State of New Hampshire out of tobacco excise tax revenue.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Shaikh’s scheme, which he executed between 2013 and 2016, involved the purchase of tobacco products other than cigarettes, referred to as “other tobacco products” or “OTP,” from various suppliers located in Pennsylvania.  Shaikh and others then transported the products to New Hampshire for sale to retail businesses.  In New Hampshire, wholesale distributors of OTP must be licensed and are required to file reports identifying the quantity of OTP sold each month.  New Hampshire taxes OTP at 65.03 percent of the wholesale sales price.  Shaikh avoided most of the licensing and reporting requirements by conducting business through a number of shell corporations.  Except for a single report filed in September 2014, Shaikh and the entities he created failed to pay the taxes owed to the State of New Hampshire.  The state lost an estimated $2.8 million in tax revenue as a result of the scheme.

In addition to the sentence of imprisonment, the court ordered Shaikh to pay restitution to the State of New Hampshire in the amount of $2,845,270, and ordered that he forfeit $132,538 in seized funds.

Shaikh previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud on June 29, 2018.

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