Two Indian-Americans have been charged with allegedly defrauding Connecticut of about $5.8 million in taxes due on tobacco products imported into the State, a US attorney has said. Pavan Vaswani, 39, and Rishi Malik, 45, were arrested on Thursday. While Malik has been detained pending a detention hearing, Vaswani was released on a $250,000 bond. Both have been indicted on 13 counts.
Between 2013 and 2017, Vaswani filed false tax forms with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services that underreported his taxes due. He then paid over those lower amounts instead of taxes actually owed.
Mailk conspired with Vaswani through means including forming a Pennsylvania company, Discount Deals, to acquire smokeless tobacco that was imported into Connecticut without payment of taxes, prosecutors said. If convicted, each count carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.