A Columbia Heights man who allegedly bought $33,430 worth of wholesale tobacco products in Illinois in February and brought them to Minnesota to sell to stores faces a felony charge of possession of untaxed tobacco products, according to a criminal complaint. Earlier this month, a Ramsey County judge decided there was enough evidence to proceed to trial.
According to the complaint, Hamza A. Abualzain is not a licensed distributor. Authorities discovered him standing next to a rental van filled with boxes of tobacco. A search of Abualzain’s cellphone found what appeared to be orders from customers, the complaint said .
By buying in Illinois, Abualzain avoided more than $23,300 in Minnesota taxes, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
More from Star Tribune
More From Whistleblower
The Whistleblower column and blog are shutting down, but our commitment remains to investigating tips from readers.
A Baltimore couple and their company were ordered to pay back $616,000 to Spanish-speaking immigrants for immigration services that they were neither qualified nor authorized to provide, the Federal Trade Commission announced last week.
A company that labeled millions of Facebook users as a "jerk" or "not a jerk" is facing federal scrutiny after the agency said it improperly obtained information to create user profiles.
CenterPoint agreed last week to pay at least $192,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by the City of Minneapolis and various insurance companies after a gas explosion near a south Minneapolis Cub Foods in 2011.
A company accused of "mortgage scams" spent at least $2 million for a direct-mail campaign aimed at Minnesota veterans, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.