17 individuals charged in 242 count indictment for untaxed cigarette trafficking

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New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced the indictment of 17 individuals on Wednesday for an untaxed cigarette enterprise along the east coast.

The network illegally trafficked 18 million cigarettes and evaded over $3 million in tax liability due to New York State and New York City.

“We have zero tolerance for those who try to game the system and cheat New Yorkers – and we won’t hesitate to hold them accountable,” said Attorney General Underwood

The defendants were all charged with Enterprise Corruption, Criminal Tax Fraud in the First Degree, and Money Laundering in the Second Degree—all of which are class B Felonies, possession or transport for the purpose of sale of 30,000 or more unstamped cigarettes, and with conspiracy. 

The group’s leader, Mohammed Alsaidi, is facing 165 separate charges, including enterprise corruption, criminal tax fraud, money laundering, and related tax crimes. 

The following defendants were charged:

  • Mohammed Alsaidi, 36 years old – Queens, New York
  • Basam Hussain, 24 years old – Brooklyn, New York
  • Yaheya Ghaleb, 40 years old – Queens, New York
  • Wail Asseadi, 27 years old – Queens, New York
  • Talal Alsaedi, 24 years old – Bronx, New York
  • Yahia Mahases, 35 years old – Richmond, Virginia
  • Fattoh Ghaleb, 31 years old – Richmond, Virginia
  • Ali Fadel, 43 years old – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Mujahid Shawter, 35 years old – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Wail Al-Shaabi, 44 years old – Bronx, New York
  • Bakil Adlehelfri, 38 years old – Queens, New York
  • Ahmed Alsayedi, 43 years old – Baldwin, New York
  • Mohamed Elgazali, 50 years old – Bronx, New York
  • Naser Alsaidi, 41 years old – Queens, New York
  • Adnan Alsayedi, 41 years old – Queens, New York
  • Tawfiq Aziz, 43 years old – Queens, New York
  • Alaa Alsaidi, 24 years old – Yonkers, New York

Sixteen of the defendants  were arraigned in Queens County Supreme Court, and Wail Asseadi is expected to be arraigned next month.

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