Glendale Smoke Shop Accepts Plea for Tobacco Tax Crimes
On October 4, 2021, Gabriel Calderon pleaded guilty to selling red-stamped cigarettes at his ITZ LIT SMOKESHOP with Intent to Evade Taxes--a Class 5 felony in violation of A.R.S. § 42-1127(L)--and accepted a plea agreement. This criminal investigation was a joint effort of the Tobacco Enforcement and Criminal Investigations Units at the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR).
As part of the plea agreement with the State of Arizona, Calderon has agreed to pay the following in restitution:
- $4,872.76 to the Arizona Department of Revenue; and
- $2,000 to the Attorney General’s anti-racketeering revolving fund.
The plea agreement also stipulates that Calderon be sentenced to probation. Calderon further agreed to cooperate in any civil audit conducted by the Arizona Department of Revenue.
ITZ LIT SMOKESHOP is a store located in Glendale which sells smoking and tobacco-related products, including cigarettes. During a routine tobacco inspection, ADOR’s Tobacco Investigators discovered various brand packs of red-stamped cigarettes were on display for sale during a retail tobacco inspection. Red-stamped cigarettes may only be sold on reservation land by a retailer owned by the governing tribe or a member of that tribe.
Investigators found that between May 1, 2019 and August 31, 2019, the entity filed false Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) returns, and between October 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020, the entity failed to file TPT returns altogether. From May 1, 2019 through July 31, 2020, the business’ TPT liability was $4,634.76. The State of Arizona, Maricopa County, and City of Glendale all impose TPT, Arizona’s version of sales tax, on sales of certain smoke products.
On January 20, 2021, the State Grand Jury indicted Gabriel Calderon and his Roadsidetechaz, LLC--doing business as ITZ LIT SMOKESHOP--with sixteen class 5 felony charges related to the business’ TPT liability.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021