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Press Release Springfield Man Indicted in Connection With Selling Untaxed Tobacco to Convenience Stores, Evading $4 Million in Taxes

Suspect Allegedly Evaded Five Years of Excise Taxes Through Illegal Operation
For immediate release:
3/19/2021
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for Springfield Man Indicted in Connection With Selling Untaxed Tobacco to Convenience Stores, Evading $4 Million in Taxes

Chloe Gotsis

BOSTON A Springfield man has been indicted in connection with evading more than $4 million of excise taxes by illegally selling untaxed tobacco products to various Central Massachusetts convenience stores, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

Mark Blackman, 51, was indicted Thursday on three counts of tax evasion by a Suffolk County Grand Jury. He will be arraigned on the charges at a later date.

“We allege this defendant orchestrated an illegal scheme that robbed our state of millions of dollars of needed tax revenue,” said AG Healey. “We continue to work with our partners to investigate and prosecute those who cheat the system and steal from taxpayers.”

These charges are the result of a joint investigation by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

“A core responsibility of the Department of Revenue is the collection of state taxes due under the law,” said Massachusetts Department of Revenue Commissioner Geoffrey E. Snyder. “We remain committed to working collaboratively with the Attorney General’s Office and the other members of the Illegal Tobacco Task Force to address the illegal tobacco trade and combat deceptive practices that injure Massachusetts taxpayers.”

Authorities allege Blackman purchased smokeless tobacco, smoking tobacco, and cigars from a tobacco distributor in Connecticut and then distributed them to various stores throughout Central Massachusetts while evading excise taxes on the products. After examining hundreds of invoices and other records reflecting Blackman’s purchase of tobacco products, authorities allege that from 2014 through 2019, Blackman allegedly evaded more than $4 million in excise taxes through his illegal scheme. During that five-year period, Blackman never paid any tobacco taxes in Massachusetts either personally or through his alleged business entity, “New England Wholsale.”

These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Edward Beagan, Senior Trial Counsel in AG Healey’s White Collar and Public Integrity Division, in collaboration with the DOR Criminal Investigations Bureau and the Mass. State Police assigned to the AG’s Office. The CT Department of Revenue Services provided significant assistance in this investigation.

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Media Contact for Springfield Man Indicted in Connection With Selling Untaxed Tobacco to Convenience Stores, Evading $4 Million in Taxes

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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