Online Cigarette Dealer Sentenced One Year

Dec 16, 2013

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin, Wikimedia Commons

The former owner of an online cigarette dealership has been sentenced to a year in prison and agreed to pay more than $2 million in restitution to the Kentucky Department of Revenue for selling cigarettes on which taxes weren't paid.

The U.S. attorney's office said Friday that 48-year-old Israel Chavez was sentenced to one year and one day in prison by U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin in Louisville.

Chavez was the owner of Chavez Inc., doing business as Cigarettes Direct to You, in Louisville. Prosecutors say Chavez admitted in court to buying unstamped cigarettes from Pedro "Peter" Bello and knowing fake invoices were made.

The U.S. attorney's office said no Kentucky tax had been paid on the cigarettes. Bello, of Miami, has pleaded guilty in a related case and is to be sentenced Febuary 3.