Man Pleads Guilty to Failing to Pay a Quarter Million Dollars in Tobacco Excise Tax

WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Massachusetts Department of Revenue Commissioner Geoffrey E. Snyder have announced that Sahid Tai, 52, of Billerica has pled guilty to six counts of tax evasion in connection with failing to pay over a quarter of a million dollars in tobacco excise tax over three years while he was the owner of A & R Market in Belmont.

Tai was sentenced to one year in the house of correction with three months to serve, balance suspended for three years on the first two counts.  He was further ordered to pay a $25,000 fine on the third count and three years’ probation on the last two counts. The Court ordered Mr. Tai to file corrected tax returns for 2018-2020 and to make a good faith effort to pay the taxes he owes.  

From 2018 to 2020, Sahid A. Tai was the owner of A & R Market in Belmont. During those years, the defendant routinely purchased untaxed products classified as “other tobacco products,” including items like smoking tobacco, cigars and smokeless tobacco from a company located outside of Massachusetts. As part of those purchases the invoices clearly stated that the defendant was responsible for paying excise taxes on these purchases.

Over the three years that these purchases were made, the defendant did not pay any excise tax on the products. Based on information compiled from invoices, bank records, and delivery records, Sahid A. Tai failed to pay $250,266.58 in smokeless tobacco excise tax and cigar and smoking tobacco excise tax.

The excise tax for cigar and smoking tobacco is imposed by General Laws Chapter 64C, section 7B and the excise tax for smokeless tobacco imposed by General Laws 64C, sections 6, 7A, and 7C.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Whitney Williams. This case was investigated by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Criminal Investigations Bureau.