Three Canadian men have pleaded guilty to taking part in a conspiracy to illegally traffic millions of dollars worth of cigarettes from Kansas City to New York.
The three were among 18 people charged by federal prosecutors in Kansas City with illegally shipping $17 million in cigarettes to avoid New York’s excise tax of $4.35 per pack.
Mark Bishop, 42, and Piotr Hoffmann, 43, both of Montreal, pleaded guilty Thursday to aiding and abetting contraband cigarette trafficking.
Mark Bishop’s brother, David Bishop, 46 also of Montreal, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and contraband cigarette trafficking.
David Bishop owned and operated DKB Trade Concepts, and admitted that he aided and abetted in the sale, possession, transportation and reception of contraband cigarettes from July 2010 to January 2012.
Mark Bishop and Hoffman admitted to transporting some of the cigarettes.
More than 620,000 cartons of cigarettes were transported to New York as part of the conspiracy, according to federal prosecutors.
The crime resulted in a tax loss of more than $8 million for the state of New York.