A city man pleaded guilty Wednesday in South Carolina federal court on conspiracy and money-laundering charges related to his role in a cigarette smuggling ring, US Attorney Bill Nettles said in a statement
Nathaniel Elmore, 49, and a Commack man, 42-year-old William Helton, admitted that between June 2008 and November, 2009, they participated in a scheme to purchase approximately $3.3 million worth of cigarettes in South Carolina to illegally transport and sell in New York City in an effort to evade applicable state and local cigarette taxes, resulting in an estimated $700,000 profit to the defendants.
The men also admitted to depositing the illegal funds into the bank account of a front company in an effort to make the transactions appear legitimate.
“The culmination of this investigation illustrates the strong working relationships that exist between law enforcement and judicial counterparts across the country,” said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett. “As evidenced by this case, the Internal Revenue Service continues to focus our resources to protect our nation’s financial infrastructure.”