Summerville tobacco shop owner arrested on tax evasion charges

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) --{}The owner of a tobacco shop in Summerville was arrested on Wednesday by state Department of Revenue officials for four counts of sales tax evasion.

Syed Ahmed, 42, has been charged with evading sales tax for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 by incorrectly reporting the establishment's monthly sales taxes, the SCDOR reported.

The SCDOR investigation revealed that over the course of these years, Discount Tobacco had taxable sales over $5.6 million. However, Ahmed reported taxable sales of approximately $3.3 million for the four-year span.

That left Discount Tobacco with a sales tax liability of $167,003, SCDOR officials said.

Ahmed is currently being held at the Berkeley County Detention Center and if convicted of the charges, could face up to 20 years in prison and/or up to $40,000 in fines.