A 39-year-old New York man was sentenced Tuesday to 21 months in prison for purchasing cheap cigarettes in Delaware bearing counterfeit state tax stamps and selling them for a profit in New York City.

Eduard Ifraimov, who emigrated from Russia in 2002 and received his U.S. citizenship seven years later, was arrested April 23, 2010, on charges of trafficking in untaxed cigarettes, receipt of counterfeit cigarette tax stamps and money laundering following a two-year investigation.

The investigation was conducted by the Delaware Division of Revenue, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other law enforcement agencies.

At the time of his arrest, investigators said Ifraimov had avoided paying more than $975,000 in taxes on the cigarettes online purchased.

Ifraimov was sentenced by federal Judge Sue L. Robinson to serve 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, said Assistant U. S. Attorney Edmond Falgowski, who prosecuted the case.

The investigation found that Ifraimov was buying large amounts of cigarettes -- taxed and untaxed -- in Delaware and transporting them to New York where they were sold avoiding the New York City and state taxes.

An ATF agent, posing as a smuggler in untaxed cigarettes, worked undercover between August 2009 and Ifraimov’s arrest, purchasing more than 23,000 cartons of buy cigarettes for $900,000.

Falgowski said on each carton of cigarettes, Ifraimov avoided paying $42.50 in taxes.

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