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Accountant pleads in contraband cigarette case

Thursday - 3/20/2014, 1:01pm  ET

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A Pawtucket accountant has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy that brought $1.2 million in contraband cigarettes into Rhode Island from Virginia.

The U.S. attorney's office says 46-year-old Bassam Kiriaki also pleaded guilty this week to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the food stamp program.

Kiriaki and six others were indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2013. Authorities say they conspired to import cigarettes from Virginia for sale in convenience stores and other locations. Rhode Island allegedly lost more than $1 million in state tax revenue.

Kiriaki also admitted filing fraudulent documents with the U.S. Department of Agriculture so a convenience store owned by a co-conspirator could remain an approved food stamp vendor.

Sentencing is June 6.

No one answered at a phone listing in Kiriaki's name.

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