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August 12, 2013
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Claire Haynes (334) 242-7351
Page 1 of 2


(MONTGOMERY)–Attorney General Luther Strange and Revenue Commissioner
Julie P. Magee announced the convictions today of Farhad T. Jiwani and Allaudin Merchant
for charges of tobacco tax evasion and criminal possession of forged instruments.

Jiwani and Merchant, who were indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on
December 7, 2012, operate a wholesale company that distributes goods to retail convenience
stores. The two men own and operate Joey Enterprises, Inc., which does business as
Northstar Wholesale in Birmingham.

Today, Jiwani and Merchant pleaded guilty for failing to pay state tobacco taxes for
the period of January 2007 through May 2007. They also pleaded guilty to criminal
possession of forged instruments, which were filed with a public employee of the
Department of Revenue for the State of Alabama in order to conceal their nonpayment of
state tobacco taxes.

This is another case where the Attorney General’s Office has partnered with the
Alabama Department of Revenue, a member of the Attorney General’s Special
Prosecution Alliance, to prosecute individuals for evading Alabama’s tobacco taxes. On
November 20, 2012, Shamim Ahmed Khan, also the operator of a wholesale distributer,
pleaded guilty in Shelby County to criminal possession of a forged instrument in an
attempt to evade state tobacco taxes. Khan was sentenced to ten years, which was split
for the defendant to serve six months imprisonment and five years probation. In
addition, Khan was ordered to pay restitution to the State of Alabama for taxes owed
plus interest and penalties, totaling $1,721,996.

“These cases should serve as reminders that tax evasion will not be tolerated – they
are serious crimes that will be thoroughly investigated, prosecuted and punished,” said
Attorney General Strange.

“Tax evasion is costly to all involved, and far outweighs any chance of personal
gain. The Revenue Department will continue to investigate, uncover, and partner with the
Attorney General’s Office in prosecuting such cases to the full extent of the law. Convicted
individuals face penalties and jail time, but even more importantly, when tax evasion
occurs, state revenues are shortchanged, and that affects all of our citizens in some way or
another,” said State Revenue Commissioner Julie P. Magee.
501 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 242-7300
www.ago.alabama.gov Page 2 of 2

Pursuant to a plea agreement with the State, Jiwani and Merchant are expected to
pay $1,437,812.98 as restitution to the Department of Revenue for unpaid taxes and interest
at their sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for January 31, 2014. The State intends to
recommend that each defendant be sentenced to five years for each count of tax evasion, as
well as ten years for each second-degree possession of a forged instrument, with each
sentence to run concurrently. The defendants have further agreed to serve six months in the
Jefferson County Jail as part of their sentence.

Attorney General Strange and Commissioner Magee commended those involved in
this case, noting Deputy Attorney General Mike Duffy and Assistant Attorney General Pete
Smyczek of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division and Special Agent Jerome
Dangerfield of the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Investigations Division.