EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – An East Longmeadow man along with three other men from Connecticut have been sentenced for their role in a conspiracy to traffic illegally obtained tobacco and avoid paying taxes.

According to the office of U.S. Attorney Rachel Rollins, 60-year-old Ravinder Arora of East Longmeadow pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit contraband smokeless tobacco trafficking and three counts of contraband smokeless tobacco trafficking; aiding and abetting. He was sentenced Friday in Springfield District Court to one year of probation with restitution to be determined at a later hearing.

Three other men from Connecticut also pleaded guilty and were sentenced:

  • Jugjeev Kharbanda, 37, of Seymour, Connecticut
    • Pleaded guilty to conspiracy and three counts of contraband smokeless tobacco trafficking
    • Sentenced to one year of probation with restitution to be determined at a later hearing.
  • Sukdev Singh, 69, of West Hartford, Connecticut
    • Pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
    • Sentenced to one year of probation with restitution to be determined at a later hearing.
  • Jaspal Singh, 59, of Seymour, Connecticut
    • Pleaded guilty to conspiracy and three counts of contraband smokeless tobacco trafficking.
    • Sentenced to one year of probation with restitution to be determined at a later hearing.

In 2008, the four men owned or helped operate wholesale warehouse in Springfield and Connecticut that sold tobacco products to convenience stores, gas stations and other businesses. Over four years, from 2008 to 2012, the men worked with Syed I. Bokhari and others to avoid paying a large amount of excise tax on the tobacco sold from the warehouses.

Bokhari was sentenced to one year of probation on August 11 and agreed to forfeit seized tobacco, money, and other assets, which accumulated to a total of $2,197,985, to the government.