Â SPRINGFIELD, IL â€“ The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) announced that charges have been filed against 10 Chicago area business owners in connection with the illegal importation of alcohol from the state of Indiana.Â The charges, filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, are the direct result of an investigation that began in June 2013 after the ILCC alerted the Illinois Department of Revenueâ€™s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of alleged interstate alcohol bootlegging.Â
â€œThe charges brought forth go a long way toward addressing the illegal importation of alcohol from Indiana into Illinois,â€ said Connie Beard, Illinois Liquor Control Commission Chairwoman.Â â€œI thank the Attorney Generalâ€™s office for pursuing this very serious matter and applaud the efforts of the ILCC and Revenueâ€™s CID. Todayâ€™s charges illustrate the depth and complexity of this two-year investigation and the great effort of all involved in securing these indictments. â€
IDORâ€™s Criminal Investigations Division, assisted by local law enforcement, executed search warrants on seven Chicago liquor stores operated by the defendants. Madigan charged the 10 defendants today in Cook County Circuit Court with sales tax evasion over $100,000, a Class 1 felony punishable by up to four to 15 years in prison. Between July 2010 and December 2012, Madigan alleged, the defendants defrauded the state out of $3.5 million in sales taxes.
State authorities were initially made aware of the illegal interstate transportation of alcohol through a tip from an Illinois retailer.Â The ILCC encourages retailers and individuals to come forward if they have any knowledge of this practice taking place elsewhere.Â Complaints may be filed through the Commissionâ€™s website: ILCC.Illinois.gov; by email: ILCC@illinois.gov; or via phone: 312-814-2206.Â