Attorney General Madigan Reaches $4.5 Million Settlement with Chicago-area Gas Stations for Allegedly Underpaying Illinois Sales Tax

Illinos Attorney General seal

Chicago –(ENEWSPF)—September 25, 2017

By: Office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced last week a $4.5 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit under the Illinois False Claims Act against 13 Chicago-area gas stations and two gas station owners for sales tax fraud.

Madigan’s lawsuit alleged that since 2002, defendants submitted false monthly sales tax returns to the Illinois Department of Revenue, resulting in millions of dollars of lost tax revenue to the state. The lawsuit alleged defendants operated the scheme by underreporting general merchandise sales and using inaccurate sales tax reporting rates. Ten of the gas stations are currently in operation and are owned by George Nediyakalayil, and Tito Kandarapallil co-owns one of the gas stations with Nediyakalayil.

“This settlement is another warning to business owners considering ripping off Illinois residents and the state by failing to pay their taxes,” Madigan said. “Cheating the state out of millions of taxpayer dollars will not be tolerated.”

The 13 Chicago-area gas stations involved in the lawsuit are listed at the following locations:

3216 W. North Ave., Stone Park

4401 N. Harlem Ave., Norridge

1551 W. North Ave., Chicago

2474 Thatcher Ave., River Grove

2401 Lincoln Hwy., Olympia Fields

1768 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago

2800 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago

4000 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago

3200 N. Kimball Ave., Chicago

1200 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

3968 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

800 W. Touhy Ave., Des Plaines

7850 S. Martin Luther King Dr., Chicago

The settlement resolves allegations brought in a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provisions of the Illinois False Claims Act, which permits private parties to file suit on behalf of the state for false claims and share in a portion of the state’s recovery.

The investigation, lawsuit and settlement were handled by Special Litigation Bureau Chief Jeanne Witherspoon and Assistant Attorneys General John Wolfsmith, Long Truong and Leigh Richie in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.