LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A Louisville businessman is scheduled to appear for arraignment on a charge he conspired with others to avoid paying taxes on cigarettes sold online.
Federal prosecutors say Israel Chavez used two businesses -- Chavez, Inc., and Cigarettes Direct to You -- to sell cigarettes without the proper Kentucky tax stamps. By processing the orders through an out-of-state company, prosecutors say Chavez shorted Kentucky out of more than $2 million in excise taxes.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin is set to oversee Chavez's first court appearance at 2:30 p.m. EDT in Louisville. Court records did not list a defense attorney.
The case is linked to the ongoing criminal proceedings against a Florida businessman and two others who have pleaded not guilty to taking part in the alleged tax avoidance scheme.