Syracuse-area brothers sentenced to prison for conspiracy to traffic in contraband cigarettes and money laundering


Date: December 2, 2020


Syracuse, NY — Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI)-New York Field Division announced that Jamal Hassan, of Liverpool and Saddam Hassan, of East Syracuse were sentenced yesterday for conspiring to traffic in contraband cigarettes. Jamal Hassan was also sentenced yesterday for his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Senior Judge Norman A. Mordue sentenced Jamal Hassan to serve 30-months in prison and ordered a three-year term of supervised release to follow. Senior Judge Mordue sentenced Saddam Hassan to serve 24- months in prison and a three-year term of supervised release. Both defendants were ordered to pay $1,117,080 in restitution to New York State, which represents the tax loss from the sale of the contraband cigarettes. Additionally, the court imposed a $400,000 money judgment against both defendants.

In pleading guilty the Hassan brothers admitted that they conspired to possess, sell, distribute, and purchase over 5 million contraband cigarettes. During searches at their residence and at a storage facility rented by Jamal Hassan and used by Saddam Hassan, law enforcement officers seized over 250,000 contraband cigarettes and over 760 counterfeit New York State tax stamps. The Hassan brothers further admitted that they sold contraband cigarettes to markets and deli stores in the Syracuse area resulting in a loss of tax revenue to New York State in the amount of $1,117,080.

This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Buffalo Field Office; the New York City Police Department (Intelligence Bureau-Strategic Intelligence Unit); the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance; the Oswego County Drug Task Force; and the Syracuse Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara B. Thomson.