Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted an investigation into the illegal sale of cigarettes that led to the indictment of 13 defendants. Cigarettes that were purchased in a low tax state were sold in a high tax state without the payment of taxes in either location. Auditors and analysts utilized Bank Secrecy Act data to identify bank accounts that were used by the defendants to hide and transfer illicit gains from the cigarette sales. Some funds were laundered through the purchase of property, including homes and vehicles, and other funds were transferred overseas. It appears that the parties involved are part of a larger Russian organized crime operation. Other Bank Secrecy Act data was useful in identifying assets totaling over $18 million, which were seized by the United States Government.
(Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives)