BOSTON – A Hopkinton man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for evading federal income taxes and defrauding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of millions of dollars in connection with the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Raza Ali, 56, of Hopkinton, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young to a year and a day in prison and two years of supervised release. Ali was also ordered to pay a fine of $30,000; restitution to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the amount of $28,072,946; and forfeit all property involved in the offense, including a warehouse-full of tobacco products and over $160,000 seized during the investigation. In May 2016, Ali pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud and launder money and one count of making a false statement on a federal income tax return. In December 2015, Ali was arrested and charged with co-conspirators Kaleem Ahmad and Muhammad Saleem Iqbal.
Ali, Iqbal and Ahmad operated a wholesale business under the names “Pick N Dip” and, later, “MSI Distributors” in Norwood, Mass., that sold tobacco products, including cigars, smoking tobacco and smokeless tobacco (such as snuff and chewing tobacco), to convenience stores, gas stations and other retail businesses.