gets jail time in cigarette-taxes case
A federal judge sentenced Paul Rainbird, former lieutenant governor of San Ildefonso Pueblo, to 33 months in prison and fined him more than $90,000 for selling contraband cigarettes.
Rainbird, 58, who in the mid-1990s directed the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, which sponsors the annual Santa Fe Indian Market, pleaded guilty in July to two felony charges and five misdemeanors related to selling untaxed cigarettes over the Internet from a location in Albuquerque.
was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Browning and must report to federal marshals this week.
Court documents show Rainbird's
business sold more than $20 million worth of cigarettes between 2003 and his
arrest in 2008.
Before entering into the plea agreement, federal prosecutors alleged that Rainbird
, through his
business American Indian CigCo, evaded paying more than $7 million in cigarette taxes.
The government says Rainbird's
enterprise had more than 6,000 out-of-state customers in about 30 states.
The misdemeanor counts to which he
pleaded involved failure to notify state officials in Illinois, New York and Maryland about his
admitted to using false documents to buy tax-free cigarettes from two Albuquerque wholesalers.
The fines imposed in his
sentence include $60,000 to be paid to San Ildefonso Pueblo
and $34,500 in restitution to the state Taxation and Revenue Department.
In addition to the prison time and fines, the federal government confiscated nearly $170,000 from four bank accounts, a 2001 Chevrolet Corvette, a 2004 Infinity FX and 4,829 cartons of cigarettes.
isn't the only American Indian official who has been in the news in recent months over tax-free cigarette issues.