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Federal charges have been filed against Joplin businessman, Gary Lester Hall, who is the owner and president of cigarette wholesale business, Sunflower Supply Company in Galena, Kansas.
The investigation into Hall and several others (seven of the eight charged live in Joplin, MO, or Galena, KS--one lives in OK) began two and a half years and resulted in the 43 count federal indictment that was unsealed and read today.
The fed's allege that Hall and his co-defendants conspired to bilk the states of Oklahoma and Native American Indian tribes out of at least $25 million in shared lost tax revenue.
Friday's 43 count indictment includes multiple counts of mail and wire fraud involving cigarette orders and the transfer of close to one million dollars from one smoke shop in Oklahoma.
A spokesperson with the ATF say that Hall's house near Joplin, a jet
and property in Las Vegas will be seized.
UPDATE: Hall has been released on $100,000 bond according to his attorney, Dan Monnat. Monnat told The Associated Press that, "Gary Hall is a well-respected businessman and philanthropist from southeast Kansas, and he insists he is innocent, and he welcomes a jury trial that will establish that fact."
A federal judge in Oklahoma has told prosecutors that he will not rule on a motion filed with the court to determine whether alleged cigarette-trafficker Gary L. Hall is using millions of dollars at his disposal to influence the outcome of pending litigation filed against him and several of his employees.
In Ocotber, Hall and several of his employees were charged with money laundering, mail fraud and other various other charges in a 43 count federal indictiment in October.
The Tulsa World has reported that Hall reportedly made $110 million on the sale of the Medallion Co., a discount cigarette company in 2002.
Prosecutors say they want a ruling on whether or not it is legal for Hall to be paying for the legal expenses of many of the other defendants. They say that it keeps them from be able to make plea agreements that could implicate Hall.
U.S. District Judge Monti Belot denied the prosecution's motion without prejudice on Jan. 14, 2009. Belot wrote in his ruling: "While the court is somewhat concerned that Hall (supposedly) is paying for all of the defendants' attorneys, this fact alone, assuming it is true, does not trigger an inquiry. As previously noted on the record, the court knows all the lawyers in this case, each of whom is highly ethical and will zealously represent the interests of, and only of, his client(s).
The evidence seized when federal agents stopped a van driven by a man employed by Joplin millionaire Gary Hall has been tossed out of court.
The feds alleged that Hall and his co-defendants conspired to bilk the states of Oklahoma and Kansas as well as Native American Indian tribes out of at least $25 million in shared lost tax revenue.
Investigators claimed that in 2006, the Kansas Highway Patrol pulled over a truck carrying more than $200,000 worth of cigarettes without proper documentation and tax stamps.
Authorities claimed that Hall and some associates were pocketing millions of dollars in undocumented revenue a scheme to avoid paying tobacco taxes.
A federal judge ruled that the trooper stopped the van without probable cause, therefore any evidence that was seized in that stop cannot be used in the case.
There is no word on how the ruling will affect the 53 count indictment filed against Hall and his business associates. Federal prosecutors say the charges, "are not going away."
Hall owns Sunflower Supply Company, a tobacco wholesale business based in Galena, Kansas.