A Korean national who was living in Marina del Rey has been sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for participating in a scheme to evade millions of dollars in federal excise taxes due on 143 million cigarettes, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Un Hag Baeg, 58, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison Monday for his role in a scheme that in which the perpetrators sold cigarettes domestically, but did not pay excise taxes after falsely claiming the cigarettes were being sent out of the country on cargo ships sailing out of the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Thom Mrozek of the Department of Justice said in a release, Tuesday.

Baeg pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to defraud the United States, Mrozek said.

Cigarettes sold in the United States are subject to a federal excise tax of $50.33 per thousand cigarettes, the release said.

The conspiracy operation took place between 2012 and 2015. Baeg and others conspired to divert the 143 million export-only cigarettes from an export warehouse near the Port of Los Angeles.

Baeg bought the cigarettes under the pretext they would be provided to various ships sailing out of the country. They instead were sold in the United States, resulting in millions of dollars in lost excise taxes.

Baeg and his co-conspirators then prepared false paperwork that claimed the cigarettes had been delivered to various ships, Mrozek said.

In all, nearly $7.3 million in federal excise taxes and nearly $6 million in state excise taxes were evaded as a result of the conspiracy, Mrozek said.

In addition to his prison term, Baeg was order to pay roughly $7.3 million in restitution.

A man who assisted Baeg, Isaac Rojas, 45, of El Monte, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States last year and will be sentenced May 29. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

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