- Associated Press - Thursday, October 20, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A citizen of Ukraine who lived in Chicago admitted that he transported thousands of cartons of cigarettes from northwest Missouri to Chicago to avoid paying excise taxes.

Federal prosecutors say 32-year-old Yevhen Sychikov pleaded guilty Thursday to interstate transportation of contraband cigarettes. Prosecutors say the scheme allowed Sychikov to avoid paying nearly $160,000 in excise taxes.

Missouri’s tax on cigarettes is 17 cents per pack. The Illinois state excise tax on cigarettes is $1.98 per pack. Cook County, Illinois charges another $3 a pack and the city of Chicago imposes an additional $1.18 per pack - making the total excise tax on cigarettes in Chicago $6.16 per pack.

Sychikov faces up to five years in federal prison without parole.

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