Gas station owner sentenced on tax fraud charges

CHICAGO — A Chicago-area gas station owner has been sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding the state of almost $1 million in gasoline sales taxes.

The Illinois attorney general's office and Department of Revenue say 33-year-old Samer T. Farhan of Palos Hills pleaded guilty on Thursday before being sentenced by Cook County Circuit Judge Kenneth Wadas.

Farhan also was ordered to pay about $976,000 in restitution — the amount of sales tax he underreported at his gas stations in Chicago and Calumet City.

Authorities say Farhan underreported sales between May 2008 and April 2011, and tried to conceal it by laundering more than $200,000 in a bank in Amman, Jordan.

They say it's one of the largest cases to date in an ongoing criminal enforcement operation involving gas stations.