- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - An Adams man has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to cheat the government out of millions of dollars in tobacco excise tax revenue.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that Hasmit Kharbanda pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Springfield to three counts of trafficking in contraband smokeless tobacco and a single count of conspiracy.

The 34-year-old defendant faces five years in prison at sentencing scheduled for July 21. He was released on personal recognizance but ordered to turn over his passport.

Prosecutors say Kharbanda, along with his brother, Jugjeev Kharbanda, and two other men, were involved in an operation to defraud the government of at least $43 million in taxes between 2008 and 2012.

Jugjeev Kharbanda and another man have also pleaded guilty.


Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, https://www.berkshireeagle.com

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