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Plainfield tobacco store owner gets 2.5 years for tax fraud

G Elente Collins is charged with reckless discharge of a firearm related to shots fired Nov. 17, 2019, in the South Loop.
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A southwest suburban tobacco shop owner was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud on Monday.

Jamal Hussein, 46, pleaded guilty to failing to file a sales tax return for his business, Burning Leaf Cigars Inc., according to a statement from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office.

Burning Leaf Cigars has retail locations in Plainfield, Aurora and Geneva, the attorney general’s office said. Hussein was charged in 2015 for underreporting more than $4.2 million in sales between January 2011 and September 2015.

Will County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kennedy sentenced him to two and a half years in prison and ordered him to pay the state more than $465,000 in restitution, prosecutors said.

“Individuals who operate businesses in Illinois are required to pay sales taxes, and this case clearly demonstrates that there are consequences for business owners who illegally shirk their tax obligations,” Madigan said in the statement.