Middletown cigar shop owner sent to prison

Posted: Updated:
MIDDLETOWN -

A Middletown cigar shop owner has been sentenced on tax fraud charges.

Francisco Velez, 43, will spend one and a half to four and a half years in state prison.

Prosecutors say the Pinebush man failed to pay over $50,000 in tobacco, sales and income taxes as the owner of the Havana House Cigar Lounge.

In addition to prison time, Velez must pay about $60,000 in restitution.

Velez, who pleaded guilty to the fraud charges in 2016, skipped his first sentencing hearing in 2017 and was sentenced to one year in prison for bail jumping.

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