Office of the State Treasurer


CONTACT: Tom Vincz         
June 15, 2006
(609) 633-6565
Toms River Businessman Sentenced on Cigarette Tax Evasion

 TRENTON -- Taxation Division Acting Director Dr. Carol O’Cleireacain, and Acting Deputy Director Maureen Adams announced today that a Toms River businessman was sentenced to State prison after pleading guilty to criminal violations of state cigarette tax law.

 Richard Carroll was sentenced last Friday by Superior Court Judge James N. Citta to five years in State Prison and ordered to pay $12,343 plus penalty and interest as restitution for Sales and Use Tax.  The State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor John J. Foti of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

 In October, 2005, a grand jury in Ocean County handed up a four-count indictment against Carroll, 48, of Brick Twp., N.J., charging him with selling unstamped cigarettes in violation of the Cigarette Tax Act, a crime of the fourth degree. Carroll was also charged with filing false or fraudulent Sales & Use Tax returns and failure to pay or turn over Sales & Use Tax between January 2001 and December 2004; and failure to maintain records as required with the intent to evade tax, all crimes of the third degree.

 Over a period of nine months, the Division of Taxation’s Office of Criminal Investigation and the Dover Township Police conducted a joint investigation at Towne Stationery, 27 Washington St., Toms River, which resulted in the seizure of 47 cartons of untaxed cigarettes, 173 cigars for which there was no record of payment of the State’s Tobacco Products Tax, and $1,221.00 in cash.. The investigation was opened after Dover Township Police received numerous complaints that Carroll was selling cigarettes to students of Toms River South High School. Carroll pled guilty in municipal court to possession on two occasions in 2002.

 This case demonstrates Treasury’s rigorous enforcement and heightened vigilance to closely monitor cigarette tax law compliance at retail establishments.

 “The sentencing of Richard Carroll should put everyone on notice that we take our cigarette tax laws seriously and will actively prosecute violators who try to avoid their obligations to the State,” O’Cleireacain said.

 New Jersey has worked in coordination with local law enforcement agencies to pursue vendors that attempt to sell cigarettes illegally and has launched operations to seize the contraband. During the last fiscal year, the Division of Taxation seized 72,838 cartons of untaxed cigarettes with a retail value of $4.5 million and initiated prosecution of 113 cases of cigarette tax law violations.

 Anyone with information concerning untaxed, smuggled, or counterfeit cigarettes or tobacco products is urged to contact the Division of Taxation’s Tobacco Interdiction Program (TIP) Hotline at 609-291-7153.

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