Ky businessman set for hearing in cigarette case

MGN Online

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Louisville businessman is scheduled to appear for arraignment on a charge he conspired with others to avoid paying taxes on cigarettes sold online.

Federal prosecutors say Israel Chavez used two businesses - Chavez, Inc., and Cigarettes Direct to You - to sell cigarettes without the proper Kentucky tax stamps. By processing the orders through an out-of-state company, prosecutors say Chavez shorted Kentucky out of more than $2 million in excise taxes.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin is set to oversee Chavez's first court appearance Monday at 2:30 p.m. EDT in Louisville. Court records did not list a defense attorney.

The case is linked to the ongoing criminal proceedings against a Florida businessman and two others who have pleaded not guilty to taking part in the alleged tax avoidance scheme.

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