Los Angeles man sentenced to years in prison for tax evasion over tobacco products

The business owner tried to skirt California’s excise taxes with tobacco products he imported from out of state.

A Los Angeles man who ran a multi-million dollar tax evasion scheme will spend the next few years in prison. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Friday that Los Angeles tobacco distributor Sadiq Mohammed has been sentenced to 32 months in prison. 


The big picture: Mohammed pled guilty to running a $3 million tax evasion scheme against the state between 2017 and 2018. 

  • Mohammed filed tax returns that underreported sales from his business L.A. Trading and Distribution, Inc. 
  • He had imported tobacco products from Florida and Illinois and falsely claimed that they were interstate sales to evade California’s excise taxes. 
  • Mohammed was arrested in November 2022 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection when he was attempting to re-enter the United States. He was extradited to California for prosecution. 

What they’re saying: “When individuals defraud and steal from taxpayers and the State of California, we will hold them accountable,” Bonta said. 

  • “Taxes owed to the state pay for services that our communities depend on and we will stop in not in our efforts to track down those who put these services and our state at risk; we will find them and return the funds back where they belong. I thank and commend DOJ’s prosecutors and special agents who worked hard on this case to bring Sadiq Mohammed to justice, and I extend my gratitude to our state and federal partners for their assistance in apprehending him and bringing him back to California for prosecution.”
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