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Former International Fugitive Sentenced in Texas for Evading Motor Fuel Taxes

On February 24, 2016, Yousef Ishaq Abutier was sentenced to seven years incarceration in the District Court of Travis County, Austin, TX, for evading motor fuels taxes. Abutier was previously charged by both the Federal Government and the State of Texas for his involvement in a scheme to evade motor fuels taxes by falsely representing fuel that he and others obtained would be exported or used for specific tax-exempt purposes. Abutier and his associates obtained more than 13 million gallons of fuel in Louisiana without paying the appropriate tax. The fuel was taken to Houston, TX, where it was blended with other combustible waste products and sold as tax-paid diesel.

Abutier was convicted at trial by the State of Texas in December 2008. After his conviction, he fled to Israel where he was incarcerated on unrelated charges. In September 2015, Israel transferred custody of Abutier to the United States. In addition to his sentence for evading motor fuel taxes, Abutier was also sentenced to 7 years incarceration for bail jumping violations. His sentences will run concurrently and he was granted credit for time served while in an Israeli prison awaiting extradition. 

Abutier is expected to be transferred to Federal custody to face sentencing on conspiracy charges in U.S. District Court, Houston, TX.

DOT-OIG conducted this investigation jointly with EPA-CID, IRS-CID, ICE, and the Texas Comptroller’s Office.