xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

2 Maryland men jailed in $6.6 million cigarette scheme in New York

<a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/breaking/" target="_blank">Find more breaking news here</a>. Have a news tip? Email newstips@baltimoresun.com
Find more breaking news here. Have a news tip? Email newstips@baltimoresun.com

Two Maryland men charged with helping to sell more than $6.6 million in black market cigarettes in New York were sentenced in federal court this week.

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Nikolay Zakharyan, 24, of Owings Mills to a year and a day in prison and Zarakh Yelizarov, 53, of Pikesville, to 18 months in prison for charges of conspiracy to receive, possess, sell and distribute contraband cigarettes.

Advertisement

Authorities said the defendants were part of a group that purchased cigarettes in Maryland and resold them for profit in New York, where the taxes on cigarettes are higher. At the time of the 2013 indictment, cigarette tax in Maryland was $2 per package, versus $4.35 per package in New York.

Authorities said the total tax evaded over the course of the conspiracy was more than $2.5 million.

Advertisement

Yelizarov was required to pay restitution of $2.5 million to New York City and the state of New York and to forfeit $56,000, proceeds of the offense. Zakharyan was ordered to pay restitution of $9,659,880.

Zakharyan helped with unloading, bagging, and accounting of the cigarettes, prosecutors said, while Yelizarov laundered $700,000 of cash through wire transactions from overseas bank accounts into a bank account in the United States.

Artur Zakharyan, 54, of Reisterstown was previously sentenced to one year of home detention and ordered to pay a pay restitution of $2,500,000.

Six additional suspects — Elmar "Eric" Rakhamimov, 42, of Owings Mills, and his brother, Salim Yusufov, 44, of Reisterstown; Ilgar Rakhamimov, 41, and Adam Azerman, 60, both of Pikesville; and Shamil Novakhov, 59, and Ruslan Ykiew, 40, both of Brooklyn, New York — previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.

twitter.com/janders5

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement