The owner of a Hamilton Hill market has been arrested on multiple felony charges, accused of possessing untaxed cigarettes.
Saleh Zaid, 32, of Selkirk, was charged Tuesday with 13 counts each of first-degree possession of a forged instrument and willful possession of a counterfeit tax stamp.
Each charge is a felony. The forged instrument counts carry a maximum of 5 to 15 years in state prison, if convicted. The minimum is 1 to 3.
The charges stem from a Sept. 2 review of store inventory by the state Department of Taxation and Finance, prosecutor Katie McCutcheon said. The cigarettes were allegedly found at Zaid Discount and Zaid Food Market, both on Albany Street.
McCutcheon said she understands the check was part of a routine series of checks by the department not specific to the stores.
During the Zaid check, they found a total of 13 different packs of cigarettes with counterfeit tax stamps, McCutcheon said.
Uncharged were allegations related to 386 untaxed cigars found, McCutcheon said. Those could result in additional counts.
During his arrest, authorities said they also located more untaxed cigarettes connected to Zaid in Albany County. Details on charges there were unavailable.
In addition to the possible jail time, possession of counterfeit stamps carries the possibility of restitution to the state and hefty fines, McCutcheon said.
Zaid is being represented by Albany attorney Philip Miller. Miller could not be reached for comment.
Zaid was ordered held on $1,000 bail, which he posted Tuesday evening, jail officials said.
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