Feb 17, 2011 7:43 PM
From ATC: Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control ("ATC") Commissioner Troy Hebert announced that ATC agents arrested three men last night for participating in an alleged tax evasion and money laundering scheme. Adham Salam of Ville Platte, La, and Anwar Hadaba and Frank Fletcher, both of Alexandria, La were arrested on charges related to tax evasion, fraud, and money laundering.
The arrests are the result of a joint investigation by ATC's Investigative Services Unit and Louisiana Department of Revenue's Criminal Investigations Division.
According to ATC agents, the investigation began with suspicions of tobacco fraud at two Ville Platte businesses know as A&A Quick Stop and A&A Quick Stop #2, both located on S. Chataignier St. in Ville Platte. Agents say the investigation uncovered evidence of additional scams including corporate income tax fraud and money laundering.
Agents allege that between 2007 and 2009 the accused attempted to conceal the businesses' true income by providing false sales and income information to ATC and the Department of Revenue.
Agents allege that the scheme allowed the individuals to commit tax evasion valued at more than $400,000 and launder close to 3 million dollars through the businesses by filing false corporate income tax returns with the Department of Revenue.
"We owe it to the people who work hard everyday and pay their taxes to bring those that don't to justice", stated Commissioner Hebert.
The businesses' book keeper, Frank Fletcher has also been charged after investigators said that he knowingly prepared false tobacco renewal application affidavits and corporate tax documents on behalf of the businesses.
ATC continues to work with the Evangeline Parish District Attorney Trent Brignac's Office to ensure that all individuals involved are successfully prosecuted and that the laws are adhered to in Evangeline parish.
Officials further stated that the investigation is continuing and additional arrests are expected.