Man charged with cash laundering in alleged tobacco smuggling program

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A man accused of smuggling truckloads of tobacco from Pennsylvania into the Los Angeles area pleaded guilty of money laundering and tax charges today.

Tamur Rajput, the 26-year-old owner of TAS Distributions in Walnut, which is now closed, is charged with selling more than $ 2 million tobacco but less than $ 9,000 to California’s Department of Taxes and Fee Administration. Dollars reported to have been in excise tax, according to the California Attorney General.

An investigation by the Multi-Agency Tax Recovery in the Underground Economy (TRUE) Task Force allegedly found that Rajput smuggled truckloads of tobacco from at least 2017 to 2018, according to the Attorney General.

Rajput is charged with six crimes of money laundering and one crime of filing a false sales tax return, and enhancing white-collar crime and money laundering.

“When people choose to bypass our laws and defraud the system, they are stealing money from California’s public services and placing more of a burden on our taxpayers to pay for our schools, hospitals and public safety,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in an explanation. “Through our TRUE Task Force, the California Department of Justice is always ready to enforce our laws against bad actors.”

Photo: Getty Images

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